Region battles high water
Although the rain that fell for 36 hours had ended by Thursday morning, flash flood conditions continued in Randolph, Barbour and Tucker counties through the day.
Randolph County experienced flooding in several areas Thursday, including along the Georgetown Road and Ferguson Road and in the Bowden, Dailey and Isner Creek communities.
“This storm hit us right through the middle of the county,” said Jim Wise of the Randolph County Office of Emergency Management. “In places like Bowden, the water levels really came up quicker than we expected. We were definitely one of the hardest-hit areas in the state.”
Wise said authorities took extra precautions Wednesday, such as checking on the welfare of campers at Revelle’s Campground in Bowden.
Power was out in areas of Beverly until late Thursday morning, and some roads were inaccessible due to flood conditions. But other than certain low-lying areas, Randolph County was clear of water as of Thursday afternoon, according to Wise.
Residents in Barbour County were also faring better Thursday, as all roads were open and all areas had power restored. No one reported damage or injuries as of Thursday afternoon, according to Cindy Hart, director of the Barbour County Office of Emergency Management.
“This is one of the weirdest storms I’ve ever seen,” Hart said. “It was extremely hard to predict and prepare for. Fortunately, we were able to manage much of the flooding as the storm subsided.”
Hart said the hardest-hit areas in the county were the Galloway and Brownton communities near the Harrison County border.
The weather came at a particularly unfortunate time, half-way through this week’s Barbour County Fair.
Tucker County seemed to have been less affected by the conditions as of Thursday morning. Chris Stadleman, a representative for the county Office of Emergency Management, reported no road blockages, power outages or other foreseeable problems by Thursday afternoon. The Emergency Operations Center was open from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. to help provide residents with resources and care, and was closed as conditions improved.
Those affected by the storm are likely looking forward to Labor Day weekend with optimism regarding a turn for the better in terms of weather conditions.
“We are hoping for a normal flow by the weekend,” Wise said regarding what to expect for the holiday weekend. “We are anticipating no rain and hopefully that will allow some of these areas that were affected more heavily to dry out a little and allow the ground level to be reduced.”
Andrew Beavers, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, seemed to agree with Wise, saying the forecast predicts a low percentage of precipitation until Saturday afternoon, when a 40 percent chance of rain is likely.
“Everything should be clearing up soon, though,” he added. “I’d say that it’s likely the worst is over.”
Contact Chad Clem by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.