The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

June 18, 2013

Heavy rains cause flooding issues around Raleigh County

By Jessica Farrish
Register-Herald Reporter


Every time a heavy rain comes to the area, Jerry Fox and Dollie Stilton’s home on Ewart Avenue floods, the couple said Tuesday.

Heavy rains in the area Monday night and steady showers throughout the region Tuesday morning caused a nearby creek to rise and water from run-off to flow into their backyard.

“It’s been doing this for three or four years or longer,” said Stilton, 70, who moved to the house several years ago from South Carolina. “You can smell the sewer.

“We have to wade through it through our front yard to even get groceries up the steps.”

Both Stilton and Fox, 61, are diabetic, said Stilton.

“This kind of problem can cause diseases,” she said. “We both have health problems.

“We don’t want to be breathing that.”

The Beckley residents aren’t the only ones who were impacted by the rain Tuesday morning.

Flash flood warnings were issued for several local counties Monday night, including Raleigh, Greenbrier and Summers counties.

Around noon Tuesday, 199 Raleigh County customers and 101 Summers County customers were without power due to storm-related events, Appalachian Power spokesman Phil Moye reported.

Moye said the customers were expected to be restored to power around 1:30 p.m.

AEP crews had worked around the clock Monday to combat weather-related outages that impacted 500 customers in Beckley Monday, Moye said.

In Beckley, a tree fell and knocked down a powerline on Cleveland School Road Monday night, blacking out 50 homes for about 12 hours.

On Robert C. Byrd Drive, 120 customers and an unspecified number on West Prince Street were without power several hours, from late Monday night until early Tuesday morning. Forty customers in Shady Spring were without power for about two hours when a tree limb fell on a power line around 10 a.m. Monday. “We’ve been able to take care of them as they come up,” said Moye. “Most of these outages look like they’re an hour and a half or two-hour duration.”

A retaining wall near the intersections of Woodlawn Avenue and Second Street in Beckley was washed out by flooding.

Board of Public Works Chairman Robert Robinson said the wall does not belong to the city.

He added that while debris from the retaining wall washed out onto Second Street, the West Virginia Department of Highways is responsible for clearing it.

Robinson said Tuesday afternoon that there were no reports of weather-related damage to city property.
Nick Webb, a National Weather Service meteorologist with the Charleston office, said Tuesday that his office received the most flooding reports on Monday from residents of roads in the Robert C. Byrd Drive area of Beckley to the Crab Orchard area.

He’d received no reports of flooding Tuesday morning.

Webb said rain was expected to continue until late Tuesday afternoon and to stop for a brief period Tuesday evening.

Overnight, showers are expected to return, along with a possible “rumble of thunder,” Webb said.

Temperatures should remain steady INFO.

“You’ll be warming back up to round out the work week and heading into the weekend,” said Webb.

Temperatures are expected to be in the high 60s for Tuesday, warming up to the mid-70s Wednesday.

Temperatures will remain in the mid- to high-70s through Sunday, with some sunshine and isolated thunderstorms and showers starting Wednesday and continuing through the weekend.

Greenbrier and Summers counties had been under a flash flood warning Monday night, but NWS-Blacksburg, Va., meteorologist Chris Fisher said no rivers or creeks flooded Monday or Tuesday morning.

“Generally, we had a quarter- to half-inch of rain in most areas,” he said. “Nothing spectacular.”

Both the New and Greenbrier rivers were “well below flood stage” and expected to stay there Tuesday, he added.
Forecasts for residents of Greenbrier, Summers and Monroe counties call for sunshine and isolated thunderstorms and showers beginning Wednesday and continuing through the weekend, with daily temperatures in the high 70s and low 80s.

The rains are caused by a cold front moving in a south-easterly pattern, Webb and Fisher reported.