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Rain on saturated ground leads to some high water


The Register-Herald

BECKLEY, W.Va. — Water covered roadways and anxiety was reported across the region Monday as nearly 1.5 inches of rain fell in some areas during a 24-hour span, soaking already drenched ground.

Water covers the road on Ewart Avenue where part of the road broke away forming a ditch causing motorist to switch lanes.
(Photo by Rick Barbero)

Meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Va., and Charleston said the already saturated ground struggled to absorb the additional precipitation, causing flooding in various areas of West Virginia.

“The flooding is a result of the ground being so wet and the amount of rain that fell in the last 24 hours,” Ray Young a meteorologist in Charleston.

By 5 p.m. Monday, the Beckley area had received nearly 1.5 inches of rain within a 24-hour period, he said. In Greenbrier, Monroe and Summers counties, the amount was less, said William Perry, a Blacksburg NWS meteorologist, ranging from three-quarters of an inch to 1 inch.

Many counties suffered from high water flowing onto roadways, but reported no major flooding.

Pax, a Fayette County town along the banks of Paint Creek, did report some high water coming into the town. “It’s just at the edge of the road,” said Mayor William Hughes. “We’re keeping an eye on it.”

North of the town, in the small community of Weirwood, water covered a bridge, he said.

Western Raleigh County saw a number of roadways suffering from high water. Small communities like Dameron and Stover along W.Va. 3 reported high water.

A mudslide was reported near on Spruce Mountain near Clear Fork, a Raleigh County dispatcher said.

In Greenbrier County, there were reports of a few blocked culverts, but water levels returned to normal after the Division of Highways unclogged them.

Around noon Monday, Nicholas County reported a landslide near the small community of Belva. However, it was downgraded a few hours later. “It was less of a landslide and more of a large rock,” said a county dispatcher. “Other than that there is nothing to report.”

In Beckley along New River Drive and Robert C. Byrd Drive, roads were flooded with rain. Cars ran through the puddles sending the water above their vehicles.

Looking forward, forecaster Young said that in Fayette, Raleigh, Wyoming and Nicholas counties, a drizzle would continue until the early morning hours of Tuesday, then remaining cloudy with a high of 49.

Greenbrier, Monroe and Summers counties could see snow by late today, especially in the higher elevations of Greenbrier and Summers, said Perry.

All counties could see snow toward the later part of the week when temperatures will plummet into the 20s at night and only jump into the 30s during the daylight hours.

“The warm weather will be leaving,” said Perry. “You can goodbye to it.”

The long rains are caused by a strong storm system moving to the south of the area, said Young. He added the system should be out of the area by sometime Tuesday. The system stretches from New England to North Carolina.

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