Severe Flooding Prompts Virginia Governor to Declare State of Emergency. Hundreds Missing and Property Damaged.

Powerful storms swept through southwestern Virginia, bringing heavy flooding and landslides and leaving at least 100 homes damaged and at least 40 people missing on Wednesday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that more than 4.5 inches of rain fell on Buchanan County on Tuesday night, which borders West Virginia.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean they are in trouble or danger, it’s just that we need to go check on them,” Chief Deputy Eric Breeding of the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office said at a news conference.

Glenn Youngkin, the Governor of Virginia, declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, and nearly 20 search and rescue organizations were assisting Buchanan County.

“I am deeply saddened at the devastating news of flooding in Buchanan County. We are making every resource available to help those impacted,” Youngkin said in a tweet.

Billy Chrimes, a search and rescue specialist from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, said the flooding was causing delays in checking on people and rescuing them.

“A lot of roadways are blocked by landslides, bridges, the approaches to those bridges are washed out. It’s going to take time for that access to be restored, make contact with everyone and make sure they have their basic needs taken care of,” Chrimes said.

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