Most of West Virginia — including Monongalia, Preston and Marion counties — is expected to experience heavy rain today and Friday.
This could lead to flooding, especially flash-flooding in areas with saturated grounds and streams that are already higher than usual.
“With the rain coming in and parts of the ground still frozen, in some of the runoff there can certainly be some flooding, especially the more small streams, poor drainage areas, low lying areas,” said AccuWeather forecaster Carl Erickson. “Doesn’t look like a case where it’s like a major river flooding event but more of those smaller streams and low lying areas will have to watch out for some flooding during that time.”
Gov. Jim Justice declared a State of Preparedness for 41 counties throughout West Virginia due to this threat.
Erickson said this area will likely see rain starting this afternoon, getting heavier tonight and into Friday morning. He expects it to taper off pretty quickly Friday.
He said this area is looking at about three-quarters of an inch to 1 1/2 inches of rain, adding that it could be a bit more in higher elevations like Preston County.
Temperatures should hold steady around 40 today and then be well into the 40s Friday, so Erickson said there should be no worry of ice or snow. He also expects roadways to be dry by Friday evening, when temperatures are expected to drop to below freezing.
In addition to the tri-county area, the State of Preparedness covers Barbour, Boone, Braxton, Brooke, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Fayette, Gilmer, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Marshall, Mason, McDowell, Mingo, Nicholas, Ohio, Pleasants, Putnam, Raleigh, Ritchie, Roane, Taylor, Tucker, Tyler, Upshur, Wayne, Webster, Wetzel, Wirt, Wood and Wyoming counties.
The governor’s declaration directs the State Emergency Operations Center and its partner agencies to prepare to respond ahead of any significant rainfall, preparing personnel and resources to respond to any emergency that may develop.