24 now dead in West Virginia flooding
SATURDAY NIGHT UPDATE: State officials say the death toll from West Virginia’s devastating floods has risen to 24 people.
The State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management reports the 24th confirmed fatality occurred in Greenbrier County.
Sixteen of those killed were in Greenbrier County, six were in Kanawha County, and one died in both Jackson and Ohio counties.
President Barack Obama has extended his condolences and those of the nation to West Virginia’s governor for the lives lost.
White House spokesman Eric Schultz says Obama spoke by phone to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on Saturday while returning to Washington, D.C., from Seattle and is committed to ensuring that Tomblin has the federal resources he needs for all recovery efforts.
Three counties have already been approved for federal aid. They are Kanawha, Greenbrier and Nicholas counties.
About 32,000 homes and businesses in the state are without power. More than 60 secondary roads in the state are closed.
Also, the PG Tour says the Greenbrier Classic scheduled for next month has been canceled.
ORIGINAL STORY: West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is asking federal authorities for a major disaster declaration to get help for the three counties in his state hardest hit by flooding.
A statement from his office says Tomblin made an expedited verbal request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Saturday for individual assistance for Kanawha, Greenbrier and Nicholas counties. Individual assistance includes housing and crisis counseling.
Tomblin said other counties affected by the rain-provoked flooding will also receive help. West Virginians should contact their local emergency management offices.
About 32,000 homes and businesses in the state were without power Saturday. The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management also said more than 60 secondary roads in the state were closed. U.S. routes 60 and 119 were closed in multiple locations.