Home Buchanan County: 44 missing individuals located after rapid flooding

Buchanan County: 44 missing individuals located after rapid flooding

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Photo Credit: bkindler

Reports of up to six inches of rain in Buchanan County Tuesday night led to severe flooding and initial accounts of dozens of missing individuals.

According to the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office Thursday, all of the 44 individuals that were originally unaccounted for have been located.

“We are happy to report that zero people are unaccounted for in the impact area,” said Buchanan County Sheriff Chief Deputy Eric Breeding in a news conference Thursday. “We’re also happy to report we are at zero fatalities.”

More than 24 hours after the storm in Western Virginia, a number of households are still without power, and more than 100 homes are damaged or destroyed. Mudslides, landslides and road and bridge conditions prevented search and rescue teams from reaching some of the areas affected by the flooding.

The concentration of the flooding was, according to the sheriff’s office social media page, in the Dismal River Road area that includes Dismal River, Patterson, Hale Creek, Pilgrims Knob, Whitewood and Jewell Valley.

The Virginia Department of Transportation’s Bristol District reported Thursday that three routes remain impassable: Route 715 (span of bridge washed out), Route 635 and Route 628. VDOT is working with the Virginia State Police, Virginia Department of Emergency Management and other agencies to assist with efforts. Teams are on site today, according to VDOT, for damage assessments and to begin repairs.

In response to the severe flooding, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin declared a state of emergency on Wednesday.

“We are deeply saddened to learn that another flood has impacted a community still recovering from last year’s flood,” Youngkin said. “In the wake of the devastation, I want Virginians in Buchanan County to know that we are making every resource available to help those impacted by this storm.”

Donations needed

The Virginia Department of Emergency Information released donation information for Buchanan County Thursday afternoon.

Monetary donations can be made to the United Way of Southwest Virginia.

Physical donations can be taken to:

Twin Valley Elementary School
9017 Riverside Drive
Oakwood, VA 24631

General cleaning supplies are particularly needed.

Donation contact is: [email protected]

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.