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THREAT OF FLASH FLOODING IN NORTH-CENTRAL WV

Watches and Warnings as of June 11, 2021.
Watches and Warnings as of June 11, 2021.(wdtv)
Published: Jun. 11, 2021 at 4:46 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 7:06 PM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - Today is a big weather day, as North-Central WV, and the rest of WV, is vulnerable to flash floods today.

A low-pressure system and frontal boundary have set themselves up in WV and are moving east. As that happens, they’ll make use of the moisture and warm temperatures in the area to produce thunderstorms. These scattered showers and thunderstorms are not only filled with moisture and thus can produce lots of rain, but these showers and storms are also slow-moving. Basically, this means they’ll sit in one area for a long period of time, since they are not moving much.

A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for practically all of West Virginia until midnight, as the National Weather Services in Charleston and Pittsburgh are warning that some thunderstorms could drop lots of rain in a short time. The NWS office in Charleston, for example, fears that these slow-moving thunderstorms could drop 1 to 3 inches of rain at times, with some areas potentially seeing up to 3 to 6 inches. This could produce flash flooding, especially in areas already hit hard by last night’s rain.

Some areas, such as western Harrison and northern Doddridge counties, are already experiencing Flash Flood Warnings, as thunderstorms have already moved through, and are still pushing through, those areas. Radar has indicated that these thunderstorms have high rainfall rates. This will cause flooding in low-lying areas. The Doddridge County warning expires at 6 PM.

Another Flash Flood Warning is in effect for portions of Upshur, Lewis, and Braxton counties until 6 PM, as those areas have already seen over 1 inch of rain and could expect more.

Another Flash Flood Warning is in effect in Marion County, as thunderstorms have dropped over 1 inch of rain in the county, with more expected. That warning expires at 5:45 PM. Marion County is also under an Areal Flood Advisory, as rain showers have moved in and have the potential to cause more flooding. That advisory expires at 6:30 PM.

The amount of rainfall produced by these thunderstorms could cause flash flooding in low-lying areas, including in roads. The most important thing one person can do when they see a flooded road is to avoid it. Most flooding deaths take place in vehicles. Don’t become a statistic. Turn around, don’t drown! Otherwise, take it slow on those roads to avoid hydroplaning, as some will be slick from the rain. Also, avoid rivers and streams, as they could be flooded from the excess rain, and be wary when driving through low-lying areas.

These scattered showers and thunderstorms will stick around until the late-evening hours at the least. This means we’ll expect some problematic weather even during the evening commute. Stay safe in your travels.

EDIT: Another Flash Flood Warning is in effect, this time for parts of Calhoun, Gilmer, and Ritchie counties. Thunderstorms have dumped over 1 inch of rain in these counties, with more expected. This warning lasts until 8:15 pm. If you see a flooded road, or an overflowing creek or stream, stay away from it.

EDIT 2 (7 PM): As of 7 PM, the Flash Flood Warnings have expired in Marion and Harrison Counties, but an Areal Flood Warning is in effect for Harrison County until 9:15 PM, as the after-effects of the rain have caused flooding in some areas in Harrison County. Meanwhile, we still have Flash Flood Warnings stretching from Calhoun and Gilmer all the way to Lewis counties, expected to expire between 8 to 9 pm. These are from a patch of thunderstorms dumping large amounts of rain in a short period of time, within the southern counties of NCWV. Fortunately, the extent of the Flash Flood Watch has shrunk, as the northern counties of NCWV have just seen their Flash Flood Watches expire. Avoid any flooded roads, creeks or streams. Turn around, don’t drown!

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