At least 2 people have died after heavy rain caused flooding in several southern states in the USA from 16 February 2023. The governor of West Virginia declared a State of Emergency. Roads and homes were flooded in areas of Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky.
West Virginia Governor declared a State of Emergency for all of West Virginia’s 55 counties due to impacts from heavy rainfall and thunderstorms on 16 February.
The National Weather Service at Charleston, WV, said, “Multiple rounds of moderate to heavy rain affected portions of the region on February 16-17, 2023. When all was said and done, rainfall totals of 2-4″ fell across much of the central/southern portion of the NWS Charleston (WV) forecast area, leading to numerous flooding issues across the region.”
In 24 hours to 17 February, Culloden in Putnam County recorded 4.02 inches / 102.108 mm of rain; Hamlin in Lincoln County 4.04 inches / 102.61 mm; and Pinch in Kanawha County 4.08 inches / 103.63 mm.
A young person died after a vehicle was swept away by flood waters in the town of Pax in Fayette County on 17 February. A mudslide blocked a road in areas near Smithers, also in Fayette County.
Flooding was reported elsewhere in the state. One person was rescued from a vehicle trapped in flood waters in Charleston and another near Mount Gay-Shamrock in Logan County.
Around 170 school students were stranded after the Mud River broke its banks in Duval, Lincoln County. All students were safely returned to their homes by the evening of 17 February, ​​​the West Virginia Emergency Management Division (EMD) said. The Mud River also caused flooding in Milton in Cabell County, where around 40 homes were damaged. EMD also reported flooding damaged homes in damage to homes in Harrison and Marion counties.
A mudslide at a coal mining location near Ragland in Mingo County destroyed at least one house and damaged several others. The mudslide also dragged coal train carriages off a nearby track. The mudslide was caused by the failure of a sediment ditch berm at a nearby coal operation, according to state regulators
EMD said that, as of 18 February, waters were receding but temperatures have dropped in some areas, causing flood water to freeze and making road conditions dangerous.
Severe flooding struck areas of Marion County on 17 February when the Rolling Fork River broke its banks. Roads and schools were closed. Emergency services rescued 2 people from vehicles trapped in flood waters in separate incidents. Another person was rescued from a flooded home. One person died after a vehicle was swept away on a bridge over the North Rolling Fork River at Bradfordsville.
Flooding was also reported in Barren, Taylor, Knox, Bell and Letcher counties, among others. The City of Manchester and Clay County declared a State of Emergency in response to the flooding.
NWS Louisville reported some areas in the north of the state recorded 4.15 inches / 105.41 mm of rain in 24 hours to 17 February.
Flooding was also reported in parts of Tennessee, damaging some homes and blocking roads in Friendship, Crockett County, Murfreesboro and Lascassas in Rutherford County and Spring Hill City.
In Alabama, emergency services reported the I65 was flooded near Cullman on 16 February.

Richard Davies is the founder of and reports on flooding news, flood insurance, protection and defence issues.

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