Death toll from West Virginia floods rises to 26

WASHINGTON — The death toll from the sudden flooding in the eastern US state of West Virginia has risen to 26 on Saturday as the bodies of three more victims were found overnight.

The newly found victims in Kanawha County were one male and two females who presumably drowned when high water flooded their homes, said a USA Today report, quoting the county’s Sheriff’s Office.

Just after midnight on Saturday, the state’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management tweeted that at least 23 people died in the flooding and more than 32,000 homes and businesses were without power across the state.

A state of emergency has been declared in 44 of the state’s 55 counties, according to an ABC News report.

West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said Friday that the damage is widespread and devastating, lamenting the flooding “among the worst in a century for some parts of the state.”

As much as 8 to 10 inches of rain fell in six to eight hours in parts of the state on Thursday, said the National Weather Service, calling the amount of rain in such a short time likely a “one-in-a-thousand-year event.” PNA/Xinhua/