Hundreds rescued in deadly U.S. floods

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According to a BBC report published today, hundreds of persons stranded by floods have been rescued in West Virginia, with the death toll now standing at 23.

Officials say rescue works are set to continue throughout the weekend, and authorities fear more victims may be found as they search through the rubble.

Governor Tomblin said the rescue effort was challenging (Photo: West Virginia Department of Transportation/Reuters)
Governor Tomblin said the rescue effort was challenging (Photo: West Virginia Department of Transportation/Reuters)

The floods are the worst in a century in some areas, the state governor says.

West Virginia received a quarter of its annual rainfall in a single day, the National Weather Service said.

A storm system dumped up to 10 inches (0.2m) of rain on parts of the state, causing rivers and streams to overflow.

The BBC reported Governor Earl Ray Tomblin as saying that the damage was “widespread and devastating” and that the floods still presented a challenge to rescue efforts.

More than 100 homes were destroyed, some of them torn from their foundations and carried away, and an estimated 66,000 residences were still without power.

Teams removed people from second-storey windows, tops of trees and cars.

Damage to roads stranded hundreds (Photo:West Virginia Department of Transportation/Reuters)
Damage to roads stranded hundreds (Photo:West Virginia Department of Transportation/Reuters)

Among those rescued were a 97-year-old woman and a family of five including an infant, officials said.

About 500 people were trapped in a shopping centre as crews scrambled to build a new gravel road to reach them.

Meanwhile, officials continued to try to reach others stranded in devastated areas.

A state of emergency was declared in 44 of the state’s 55 counties, and up to 500 soldiers have been authorised to assist in the rescue operations.

 

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