At least 20 people have died in West Virginia as a result of extreme flooding that inundated portions of the state on Thursday.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced that the death toll had risen to 14 during an earlier news conference on Friday, but the Associated Press, citing local sheriffs and rescue workers, reported that there were several other fatalities not yet confirmed by the state.
Extensive damage was reported and Tomblin declared a state of emergency for 44 counties, including all but the northern and eastern panhandles. He also authorized the deployment of up to 150 members of the state's National Guard.
"The amount of rain that recently fell on parts of West Virginia and southern Virginia exceeded a once-in-a-century event for the specific area and resulted in catastrophic flooding in some communities," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
"Radar estimates indicated 6 to 10 inches of rain fell on some locations in 24 hours," Sosnowski said.
FEMA announced in a press release that it is deploying an Incident Management Assistance Team to help provide support and guidance on the Federal Disaster Declaration Process.
Greenbrier County Sheriff Jan Cahill described "complete chaos" and told the AP that roads were destroyed, bridges had washed out and homes had been knocked off foundations.
Fifty homes were destroyed along Jordan Creek in the Clendenin area and multiple water rescues were performed in Richwood.
In White Sulphur Springs, the raging floodwaters submerged part of the historic Greenbrier resort. Power was knocked out throughout the resort and cleanup efforts were underway.
"It's like nothing I've seen," said Jim Justice, owner and CEO of the Greenbrier.
Please keep everyone in your thoughts and prayers affected by these horrific flood waters. #StayStrongWV pic.twitter.com/lbkB1DwF0S— The Greenbrier (@The_Greenbrier) June 24, 2016
"The flooding we experienced Thursday and into today is among the worst in a century for some parts of the state," Tomblin said. "Our team in the Emergency Operations Center worked through the night and continues to coordinate efforts with local officials today."
High pressure will help to bring drying conditions to West Virginia this weekend, AccuWeather Meteorologist Jordan Root said.
"This should allow water levels on area rivers to continue to drop and provide great cleanup weather," Root said. "A spotty afternoon thunderstorm will be possible on Saturday in the eastern part of the state, but most areas will likely remain dry."