BUCHANAN COUNTY, Va (WRIC) — After a Tuesday-night flood ravaged the rural Whitewood community in Buchanan, the county sheriff’s office added more people to the list of individuals unaccounted for.
Forty-four people have not been reachable to loved ones, according to the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday evening — four more people than initially reported during a press conference.
“This does not mean the person is missing, it means we are attempting to reach and locate the person and check on their wellbeing,” read a statement on the sheriff’s office Facebook page. The statement added that there have not been any reported deaths.
It is unknown how many people lost some or all of their belongings after several homes were lifted from their foundations, cars floated away and trees were toppled.
“Our back steps left, and then our front porch left, and then we were stranded in the house. Me and my son, my 2-year-old son, were on an air mattress on the floor, and we were floating,” one woman told WJHL, an 8News sister station.
The terrifying toll could be seen from the sky on Wednesday in aerial photos and videos. The total cost of damage is currently unknown.
“Mudslides, trees in the road, water has been on the road, and houses in the road. It’s just a mess,” one man said Wednesday.
As officials announced that an emergency shelter at a local elementary school had been opened, the American Red Cross of Virginia said they were “meeting with emergency officials on scene to determine how our help may be needed.”
The carnage is all too familiar for county residents who faced similar flood damage last fall.
One resident described the difficulty surrounding the problems from Tuesdays flood, saying, “There was no way to get a vehicle out, or get in here to us…because the water was so high. I don’t think a boat would’ve come up, as high as it was.”
Gov. Glenn Youngkin took to Twitter to say he was “deeply saddened,” and that the state is “making every resource available to help.”