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Southern WV hit again with rain, flooding

BY PJ HELLER | CHARLESTON, WV | July 9, 2000

CHARLESTON, WV (July 9, 2001) - Heavy rains and flash flooding caused

extensive damage Sunday in southern West Virginia with one person

reported killed and hundreds forced from their homes.

The severe weather in West Virginia was among the worst of the

numerous storms that spread from the Plains to the Southeast. Severe

thunderstorms, hail and wind gusts of up to 100 mph pummelled some

areas.

West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise declared a state of emergency in eight

counties after the rains and flooding washed out roads and bridges,

forced power outages, toppled trees and damaged or destroyed more

than 150 homes, officials reported.

Residents in mobile homes floating down creeks were plucked to safety

by rescuers in boats while others who climbed onto the roofs of their

homes were picked up by helicopter.

One of those helicopters pressed into service had been carrying Wise

on a tour of the flooded area. More than 150 National Guard members

were assisting in the rescue efforts.

The American Red Cross opened some two dozen shelters to house those

affected. About 500 people were staying in those shelters Sunday

night.

The rains-nearly 7 inches according to one report-pushed the

Guyandotte River at Pineville and the Tug Fork River at Welch to

record levels. More rain was forecast for Monday.

The West Virginia weekend deluge was the latest in a series of floods

to hit the area. Wise said Sunday's storm was far more severe than

the flooding which occurred in May and June.

Counties affected by Wise's state of emergency declaration were

Wyoming, Mercer, Raleigh, Boone, Fayette. McDowell, Doddridge and

Summers. Only Doddridge is not in the southern part of the state.

Elsewhere, thunderstorms pounded the Cincinnati area, downing trees

and knocking out power to more than 70,000 residents in the city and

across northern Kentucky. High winds reportedly damaged homes and

businesses in the region.

Widespread damage was also reported in northern Indiana, where winds

gusted to between 90 and 100 mph. Winds of more than 50 mph raked

parts of Nebraska, which along with parts of South Dakota, received

showers and thunderstorms.

Heavy rain also fell across eastern Iowa, northern Illinois and

southern Indiana.

A tornado warning was sounded Sunday night by the National Weather

Service for Johnson and Morgan counties in Kentucky. Initially

spotted on radar 23 miles northwest of Paintsville, there was no

report late Sunday night that it had touched down or caused any

damage.

Severe thunderstorm warnings were posted for parts of Tennessee,

Kentucky, Virginia, South Dakota, Wyoming.


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