The National Weather Service has issued a multi-day flood watch for Barbour, Lewis and Upshur counties, with 2 to 3 inches of rain possible.
The watch begins this evening and lasts through Saturday morning, according to the National Weather Service in Charleston. Local officials advise residents to be prepared for the destructive potential of rising waters.
"They should have a plan already in effect," Upshur County Office of Emergency Management Director Jim Farry said Wednesday.
"They should have an escape plan and (plan) where they're going to shelter if they get cut off. There are people that live in the flood zones, and they know that they live in the flood planes. The only thing we can advise them is to continue to listen to flood reports."
Farry also said there is information available online to help residents stay informed of changes and announcements regarding the flood watch, including at the National Weather Service's official website, www.weather.gov.
According to the NWS, the rain is caused by a frontal system expected to pass over the region, meeting with warm and moist air and waves of low pressure. Together, those conditions produce prolonged periods of rain.
An average of two to three inches is expected in the affected areas of the state. Residents are advised that the rain could cause the rise of rivers, creeks and small streams.
The NWS is also calling for a high of 68 degrees today in Randolph County, followed by a low of 29 degrees and a chance of snowfall Friday night.