CHARLESTON, WV – With his Feb. 17 State of Emergency declaration still in effect for all 55 counties, Governor Jim Justice is urging his fellow West Virginians to monitor local weather conditions closely this weekend and stay prepared.
The National Weather Service has forecasted multiple rounds of heavy rains through Sunday. With the Ohio River already at higher-than-normal levels, this additional rainfall poses an extreme risk of flooding to all counties along the Ohio. The rest of West Virginia remains at some risk of flooding as well because of saturated ground conditions.
“I know West Virginia can weather this coming storm, if we all remember to use our God-given common sense,” said Governor Justice. “I encourage everyone to pay attention to their local emergency officials. And please, do not endanger yourselves, your loved ones or our first responders by trying to drive through flood waters!”
The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) will activate the State Emergency Operations Center at the West Virginia Capitol by 8 p.m. Saturday. DHSEM is already coordinating with county and local emergency managers, and is prepared to field and respond to requests for resources and other assistance. The West Virginia National Guard is pre-positioning resources and personnel, including from its Swift Water Rescue team, and other agencies such as the Division of Highways are doing the same.