More than two dozen people were left dead, and even more left heartbroken, after torrential rains caused major flooding in the West Virginia region last week.
The bodies of three more victims of West Virginia’s historic flooding were found overnight, according to county authorities Saturday, raising the death toll to 26 from torrential rains and high water that has destroyed more than 100 homes, washed out scores of roads and bridges and knocked out power to tens of thousands of people.
The Kanawha County sheriff’s office said Saturday that one man was found in a home in the Clendenin area and two females were found in a home along the Elk River. The officials said it is presumed that all three had drowned.
At least 23 others, including an 8-year-old boy who was wading in a foot of water, were killed in the torrential flooding after as much as 8-10 inches of rain fell in six to eight hours in parts of the state on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. This amount of rain in such a short time is likely a “one-in-a-thousand-year event,” the weather service said.
It was the third-deadliest flood on record in West Virginia, according to the West Virginia state climatologist Kevin Law. Only the Buffalo Creek flood in 1972 (when 125 died after a dam break) and a November 1985 flood (when 38 died from a combination of Hurricane Juan’s remnants and another storm) killed more in the state, Law said.