US authorities this morning continue to search for at least 44 people after a storm caused flooding in Buchanan County (Virginia), about 640 kilometers southwest of Washington. The storm and torrents that flooded that rural area brought down homes and bridges, and downed phone lines made it difficult to contact residents, said State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.
Meteorologists reported that from Tuesday night to Wednesday morning rainfall reached 115 millimetersincluding more than 25 millimeters in about 14 minutes at Pilgrims Knob. Heavy rains caused flooding in the Dismal River, Patterson, Hale Creek, Pilgrims Know, Whitewood and Jewell Valley areas affecting roads and forests, and washing away buildings and vehicles.
The governor Glenn Youngkin declared a state of emergency to speed up relief efforts in that region of Virginia that borders West Virginia and Kentucky.
“We have no confirmed reports of fatalities,” Deputy Sheriff’s Office Chief Eric Breeding was quoted by The Richmond Times as saying. “We have set up a phone line to receive calls from those who have lost contact with someone as a result of the flooding.” Breeding estimated that the lack of information on dozens of people may be mainly the result of downed phone lines.
Flooding caused damage to a strip of about 15 kilometers between Whitewood and Interstate Route 460, and there were reports of power outages and road blockages in several areas.
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