Gov. Northam declares state of emergency in response to heavy rain, extreme flooding

Virginia News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Governor Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency in response to heavy rain and extreme flooding affecting the southwest Virginia area.

The governor’s office expects the storm to continue to move east across Virginia, with storm damage potentially impacting the area.

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“This weather is potentially dangerous, and rivers and streams can reach flood stage hours after the rain has passed,” Governor Northam said. “I urge all Virginians to monitor forecasts and be prepared to obey local evacuation orders if needed. We are grateful to first responders who are working to rescue people from flooded homes and keep citizens safe.”

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According to reports from emergency officials, more than 500 residents in and around the town of Richlands, in Tazewell County, have been displaced by flooding and needed rescue from their homes. A number of roads in Southwest Virginia are closed or washed out. Throughout Central Virginia, multiple vehicle crashes, including a crash involving a school bus, were reported.

A state of emergency allows the Commonwealth to mobilize resources and position people and equipment to assist in storm response and recovery efforts. 

State and local officials will continue to monitor weather conditions, which is expected to impact Virginia over the next 24 hours.

Stay with 8News for updates.

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