Death toll reached 24 as flood hits US’ West Virginia
WASHINGTON – Agence France-PresseThe death toll from flooding in the U.S. state of West Virginia rose to 24, as U.S. President Barack Obama declared a major disaster, releasing federal aid for the hardest-hit areas.
Days of heavy rain, especially on June 23 and June 24, caused massive flooding in the state, where high waters have washed away cars, trapped hundreds and cut power to large areas.
The president “ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides,” the White House said in a statement June 25.
The latest fatality from the flooding was reported June 25 in Greenbrier County, bringing the death toll to 24, state spokeswoman Jessica Tice told AFP.
More than 21,300 people remained without power across the state late June 25, according to the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (WVDHSEM).
Hundreds of homes had been severely damaged or destroyed and more than 60 roads remained closed, it said.
Photos on the division’s Facebook page showed a muddy, swollen river in the West Virginia town of Clendenin that had spilled over its banks and inundated a nearby neighborhood with floodwater.
The federal support “will provide much needed assistance to severely-impacted regions,” West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said in a statement.
“As emergency response efforts continue, with members of the National Guard and local emergency responders hard at work helping our neighbors, we will continue pursuing additional assistance for all affected areas.”