Sunday 26 June 2016

Flooding kills 26 in West Virginia.

Twenty six people have been confirmed dead in West Virginia after the state suffered its worst flooding in a century this week. 250 mm or rain was recored in parts of West Virginia on Thursday 23 June 2016, roughly a quater of the expected annual rainfall for the state, and leading to flash floods that swept away many houses and other buildings. The worst hit areas are reported to be in the southeast of the state, notably Greenbrier County, where sixteen people are reported to have died and Kanahwa County, where another six fatalities occured.

Floodwaters near White Sulphur Springs in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, on 24 June 2016. AP.

At least a hundred homes are thought to have been destroyed, while across the state about  32 000 homes and businesses are thought to be without electricity. A State of Emergency has been declared by President Barack Obama following a request from State Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, meaning that residents of the worst affected areas will be able to apply for federal aid to help them rebuild.

Flooding in Richwood in Nicholas County, West Virginia, on 23 June 2016. Jeremy Rose/Charleston Gazette-Mail.

West Virginia has a warm subtropical climate with rainfall largely driven by evaporation in the North Pacific rather than the (nearer) Atlantic, with prevailing winds predominantly carrying moist air from the West that is pushed upwards by the Appalachian Mountains, causing it to cool and lose its capacity to cary as much water, resulting in rainfall. However Atlantic storms can reverse this process, bringing warm moist air from the Atlantic, which also tends to deposit its water content on encountering the Appalachians.

See also... 3.5 Earthquake in Ballard County, Kentucky.                                                      The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 3.5 Earthquake at a depth of 16 km... woman dies after falling into sinkhole in Louisville, Kentucky.                                    An elderly woman has died after falling into a sinkhole in the Pleasure Ridge Park district of Louisville, Kentucky at about 7.30 pm local time on Tuesday... dead and two injured following roof collapse at West Virginia mine.                   One worker has died and another two have been injured following a collapse at the Marshall County Mine in Cameron, West Virginia, which occurred at about 10.00 pm local time on Sunday 8 March 2015. Earlier reports suggested that more miners...
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