Sean Breslin and Pam Wright
Published: July 29, 2017
A round of potentially life-threatening flooding was underway Saturday in parts of the South and mid-Atlantic.
On Saturday, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice declared a state of emergency for parts of northern West Virginia, including Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Marion, Monongalia and Harrison counties. The governor’s office said emergency officials are evacuating some areas and the West Virginia National Guard has been mobilized to help, the Associated Press reports.
Amid the chaos of Saturday’s flash flooding, Ohio County authorities recovered a body that washed up on the Ohio River. It is believed to be the body of 19-year-old Paige Gellner, who was swept away with boyfriend Michael Grow last week in raging floodwaters, reports the Intelligencer. Grow, 24, was pulled from the river last week and pronounced dead at a local hospital.
In Pennsylvania, the area south of Pittsburgh saw a lot of flood-related activity Friday evening into Saturday morning, with trees and wires down and cars floating in some places along numerous Allegheny County roadways.
Emergency crews evacuated 11 residents from a Uniontown neighborhood Friday, as well as 78 residents from a high rise apartment building. Several roads were impassable in the city located 45 miles south of Pittsburgh.
Floodwaters rose in Washington County, Pennsylvania, where flooded vehicles and even a mudslide were reported Friday. The mudslide occurred along Interstate 70 West, according to the National Weather Service. A flash-flood emergency was declared Friday evening for the town of Washington, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. There were also reports of Washington residents being stranded in their homes. In Finleyville, several people were rescued from a trailer park.
(MORE: Areas That Could See the Worst Flooding from This Event)
Southeastern New Jersey also reported flooding and road closures early Saturday due to a combination of rainfall and tides.
A wall collapsed at an apartment building in Coral Hills, in the District of Columbia. No injuries have been reported.
In Baltimore, Maryland, trees toppled from the saturated ground.
Some of the worst early flooding was observed in Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia. In Perry County, Tennessee, two people were rescued from flash flooding Friday morning in the town of Linden, according to WSMV.com. To ensure safety, residents were told to stay off flooded roads.
Later Friday, floodwaters began to rise in Kentucky; vehicles were swamped and roads were closed.
The storm system also dumped heavy rain on West Virginia Friday afternoon, which led to reports of flooding and road closures near Huntington. Numerous water rescues were ongoing early Saturday in Marion County due to flash flooding.
In Washington D.C., a Major League Baseball game between the Washington Nationals and Colorado Rockies was postponed Friday night because of the storms. At the D.C.-area airports, hundreds of flights were delayed Friday, according to FlightAware.
Streets near swollen creeks were submerged Friday afternoon in Montgomery County, Maryland, as the storms pushed east, Bethesda Magazine reported. Authorities stressed caution, especially as more rain was expected to fall into the weekend, and told drivers to avoid flooded roads.
“People need to be mindful of that,” Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service Assistant Chief Dee Howard Richards told Bethesda Magazine. “If they can’t see the lines in the road, if they see moving water or if they can’t see the road as they can normally see it, we’re advising, ‘Don’t drown. Turn around.’