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State of Emergency Declared in McDowell County, Water Rising Across the Area

By Derek Tyson, The Welch News Editor

Lover’s Lane, Gary, West Virginia. (Photo by Rebecca Key)

Update: 2:44 p.m. Lover’s Lane in Gary suffered a mudslide, blocking access to the residential street.

The underpass on McDowell Street after flood waters obstructed traffic flow in the area.

Update: 2:35 p.m. McDowell Street’s underpass, between downtown Welch and Welch Community Hospital, is filled with water after the river rose above the flood wall. A delay of several hours is expected as City crews wait for the water to recede.

Update: 12:27 p.m. The 911 Center also announced Sagebrook Lane in Mile Branch is impassible.

Update: 12:00 p.m. The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood warning until at least 7:30 p.m. tonight.

Route 103 in Gary was also reported closed by McDowell County 911. Traffic is being diverted through Wall Street and Powerhouse. Flooding is also reported near Gary Bantam.

Update: 11:35 a.m.

The McDowell County 911 Center released an update on road conditions via social media shortly ago.

Per Department of Highways, the following roads in McDowell County are closed:

PF 821 – George’s Fork, Panther

County Route 503 – Betsy Branch Rd., Garland

83/22 – Wolfpen Hollow

HA 959 – Honey Bee Branch Rd., Bradshaw

83/20 – River Rd., Yukon/War

US Route 52 – Coney Island

Griffith Street – Maybeury

Motorists are urged to stay off these roads.

MCDOWELL COUNTY, WV – Heavy rains throughout the night led to rising waters across McDowell County this morning, with a local State of Emergency being declared at 9:45 a.m. 

Flooding is reported countywide, but mostly holding within creek and river banks. In Panther, Berwind, Bradshaw, Anawalt, and Coalwood areas, the water has broken over stream banks. Houses in Coalwood and Berwind have been reported as affected by flood waters at the McDowell County 911 Center. 

Angie Workman, Deputy Director of the 911 Center, said most all roads are still currently open, but caution is heavily advised due to rising water and debris. At the time of this release, River Road in War and Berwind Mountain Road have been closed. 

“All fire departments are out checking the areas and we’ve opened our Emergency Center,” said Workman. “Schools are closed and children have returned home. We’re also moving EMS crews around the area so we can provide adequate coverage.” 

Anyone traveling is urged to use extreme caution and to avoid traveling if possible.