CHARLESTON, WV – West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) maintenance crews were out in the field on Thursday, July 28, 2022, continuing around-the-clock work cleaning up debris and assessing damage from this week’s storms.
“Our main goal is to keep the roads passable,” said Joe Pack, P.E., WVDOH Chief of District Operations. “We’ve been out in the field since the first reports of high water and storm damage. We were out all day yesterday and we’ll be out all day today assessing damage and getting roads back open.”
Southern West Virginia counties of Fayette, Greenbrier, McDowell, Mingo, Wyoming and others were hit hardest by flash flooding on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, and Wednesday, July 27, 2022. For the most part, Pack said, “We hardly have any roads washed out. We have some damage to gravel roads. We have some embankment failures and downed trees.”
On Tuesday, July 26, 2022, Gov. Jim Justice declared a State of Preparedness for all 55 counties as weather forecasters predicted pop-up thunderstorms throughout the week. Forecasters predicted multiple isolated storm cells that could drop heavy rainfall over small areas, leading to localized flash flooding.
Those types of storms occurred throughout the state on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, and Wednesday, July 27, 2022, and are possible through the end of the week.
The State of Preparedness allows state agencies to respond more quickly to emergencies around the state.
In Fayette County, several roads that were closed by flooding were reopen on Thursday, July 28, 2022. Other counties hid hard by flooding were also reopening roads.
Once the water is down, debris is cleared and roads reopen, Pack said the WVDOH can assess any long-term damage and make plans for permanent repairs. WVDOH maintenance crews will continue to work until all roads closed by flooding are open to traffic.