14 people have died in the flood in West Virginia according to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. Both the state of Virginia and West Virginia have been declared to be in a state of emergency in an event that has been described as "complete chaos," according to Weather.com.
During a news conference on Friday, Tomblin made the announcement regarding the death toll and communicated that the damage from the floods has been devastating and and widespread, according to TIME. While the damage is extensive, the Governor mentioned that search and rescue missions are still the top priority in the aftermath of the flood. The Governor's communications director Chris Stadelman declared that some areas of the state are "probably looking at flooding that's going to be the worst in 100 years."
Parts of West Virginia got as much as 9 inches of rain, even trapping around 500 people in a shopping center when a bridge washed out. Governor Tomblin mentioned that the authorities are working on building a gravel road to reach those who are trapped.
Rescue teams in helicopters had to pick up dozens of people from their own rooftops as the water levels continue to rise. Stadelman also mentioned, "We had swift water rescue teams out until late last night and back out again this morning literally rescuing people from rooftops and upper stories from houses."
Greenbrier County Sheriff Jan Cahill stated regarding the extensive damage, "Roads destroyed, bridges out, homes burned down, washed off foundations. Multiple sections of highway just missing. Pavement just peeled off like a banana. I've never seen anything like that."
Eyewitness News even caught footage of a house ripped off its foundation and catching fire while floating away in the flood.
The National Guard has also been officially mobilized to help rescue teams. Hopefully with their help and the local authorities, the death toll can be prevented from rising even more as the flood continues to wreak havoc upon West Virginia and Virginia.