021220 Flood pic

West Virginia Department of Highway workers inspect the tunnel in Caldwell because of high water last Thursday. (Jenny Harnish/The Register-Herald)

The National Weather Service has put much of southern West Virginia under a flash flood watch from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning.

Persistent drizzle, cloudy skies and ground already saturated by recent rains and melted snow have produced conditions ripe for trouble.

Counties included in the watch, which includes 33 of the state’s 55 counties, are: Raleigh, Fayette, McDowell, Wyoming and Nicholas.

NWS’ Tuesday assessment read: “Streams, creeks and rivers are also running at elevated levels. With the expected rain on Wednesday and into Thursday, any rain will be mainly runoff. This will increase the chances for flooding along streams, creeks and rivers”

Gov. Jim Justice has asked the state Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) to prepare for possible flooding.

“Because of the heavy rain predicted again this week, I’ve asked state agencies to be ready to respond,” Justice said in a prepared statement. “We stand united with our communities and are prepared to provide all possible resources if flooding should occur.”

Other counties under the flash flood watch include:

Cabell, Mason, Jackson, Wood, Pleasants, Tyler, Lincoln, Putnam, Kanawha, Roane, Wirt, Calhoun, Ritchie, Doddridge, Mingo, Logan, Boone, Clay, Braxton, Gilmer, Lewis, Harrison, Taylor, Upshur, Barbour, Webster, Pocahontas and Randolph.

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