Gov. Jim Justice issues 'state of preparedness' for flooding threat

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LINCOLN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Gov. Jim Justice on Wednesday issued a "state of preparedness" in advance of additional rain that's predicted to affect West Virginia this week.

Gov. Jim Justice on Wednesday issued a "state of preparedness" in advance of additional rain that's predicted to affect West Virginia this week.

This state of preparedness covers 55 counties for any mobilization efforts in case they would need to deploy for flooding or other storm-related damage.

In a statement issued by the governor’s office, “Additionally, the Governor has activated the State Emergency Operations Center and instructed all State agencies to exercise their appropriate authorities associated with this State of Preparedness.

"The Governor stands ready to declare a State of Emergency for all areas that the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management deem necessary. One of West Virginia’s Department of Highway's concerns is to keep water from sitting on the road’s surface.

"A lot of attention has been focused on ditching along roadways to keep water from sitting on the road's surface. With continued rain is expected around the state over the next several days, there is a potential for flooding. Ahead of that threat, our West Virginia Division of Highways maintenance crews will be out making sure culverts are clear and drain are free of debris, a constant task as part of Highway's core maintenance program covering over 35,000 miles of roadway. But please remember, when there is a storm with significant precipitation in a short amount of time, those drains and culverts can be covered quickly and pooling can occur. So, when motorists encounter less than perfect conditions, please slow down. Drive with headlights and wipers on. If you encounter standing water, please turn around. Our crews will be monitoring the conditions and will work with first responders should we be needed."

One county is taking extra precautions for their student’s safety.

Lincoln County Schools dismissed students at noon earlier due to flooding concerns. They told WSAZ over the phone, “We are erring on the side of caution.”

Southern West Virginia Technical and Community College say they canceled all evening classes at the Lincoln branch. One student says she’s glad to see safety as the main concern.

“It makes me happy that they are thinking of our needs and that we have to travel all campuses,” said education major Rebecca Lambert.

A flash flood watch is in effect in Lincoln County until 1 p.m. Thursday.