Everyone accounted for after Buchanan County flooding
All of the people reported missing after flooding in a rural part of southwest Virginia have now been located. Officials said Thursday there have been no fatalities or serious injuries. Now work to catalog the damage is underway.
Crews searched more than 400 structures since the flash flooding hit late Tuesday night. Billy Chrimes, with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, didn’t provide an exact number of impacted homes during a Thursday news conference but said the damage ranges from minor to washed away. The work to assess and catalog the damage to roads and homes is expected to take weeks.
People applauded when officials announced at a Thursday news conference that everyone had been safely located. "We walk into it as a worst case scenario," Billy Chrimes said. "We plan for the worst and hope for the best. And once again that’s been the case." An official with the Buchanan County Sheriff's Office said the only serious injury was a snakebite.
Chief Deputy Eric Breeding thanked the half-dozen rescue agencies for their help. Some came from as far away as Lynchburg and Roanoke. "They're the ones that made this happen," Breeding said. "They stepped it up in the middle of the night and said 'We're here to help.'"
Governor Glenn Youngkin is expected to tour the area Friday.
A series of thunderstorms hit Buchanan County, in the mountainous southwest corner of the state, Tuesday evening, dumping 4 to 6 inches of rain in just a few hours according to meteorologists. All that rain ran downhill and piled up in the narrow valleys.
This is the second major flooding event to hit the county in less than a year. Late last summer, remnants of a tropical system set off flash flooding that damaged several dozen homes and killed one person.