PANTHER, W.Va. -- The McDowell County Commission issued a state of emergency Thursday for the Panther area following flash flooding, said a county official.
County dispatchers started receiving reports of rapidly rising water around 5 a.m. While most residents have chosen not to evacuate, about 50 homes saw their private bridges wash away, more than 20 structures are severely damaged and several vehicles have been deemed total losses, said Angela Robinette, deputy director of the county’s Office of Emergency Services.
Two families that had substantial damage to their homes left the area to stay with family, Robinette said.
“At this time there has been no request for shelters and none have been opened,” Robinette said.
Bull Creek-Mohawk Road, the area’s main road, was damaged. The state Division of Highways was making repairs there, Robinette said.
The county was working with the West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster group and the American Red Cross to bring relief to the area, Robinette said.
The water was slowly receding, she said around 4 p.m..