BUCHANAN COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) – Flash flooding and heavy rainfall occurred late Tuesday night, July 12, and continued into the early morning hours of Wednesday, July 13. According to the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department, the flood reportedly left 44 people unaccounted for. At this time, there are no reported deaths.


“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’s Facebook page.


The flooding stretched across ten miles of property as the roads surrounding the Dismal River Road area have been closed to everyone except rescue personnel. The Virginia Department of Emergency Management and swift water rescue crews were on the scene.


Officials announced that an emergency shelter at a local elementary school had been opened. They also encourage residents who have not been able to reach a loved one to go to the Reunification center held in the same vicinity.


It is unknown how many people lost all of their belongings after several homes and cars were lifted from their foundations.


“Our back steps left, 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 United way of Southwest Virginia has created a relief fund for the victims, find out how to donate here

For the full story, read our coverage from Wednesday night’s report.