Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency in Virginia on Aug. 31 after rain from the remnants of Hurricane Ida caused devastating flooding and landslides, with more severe weather forecast.
On August 31, 2021, flash floods and landslides were raging in Buchanan County, Virginia. In the small village of Hurley, located in the valley along the Knox Creek, more than 20 houses were destroyed. About 60 people were evacuated, some took refuge in a local church. Initially, it was reported that four people were missing, but three were subsequently found. The Buchanan County Sheriff's Office said one person was still missing as of August 31.
"Several inches of rainfall this afternoon led to flooding and landslides that caused significant damage and limited access to homes in the Hurley area," the Buchanan County Sheriff's Office said.
"Specialized teams from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, as well as the Buchanan County Sheriff, the Virginia State Police, and numerous firefighters, rescue and search services from across the state and rescue teams from West Virginia, are on the scene." The rains expected today and tomorrow will continue to complicate the situation. Damage assessment will begin tomorrow morning with the help of ground and air teams. Residents are advised to avoid the area to allow crews to continue their clean-up operations."
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency in the aftermath of the former Hurricane Ida, which is now a tropical depression.
In a statement, the governor said heavy rains have already caused flash floods in Buchanan County, with the possibility of additional flooding, fallen trees, power outages, damage to roads, bridges and other infrastructure. The impact is expected to be particularly severe along corridors I-81 and I-66. In addition to the threat of flooding, there is also the risk of tornadoes.
“I think of those who have been affected by this devastating storm across the country,” Governor Northam said. “While we are lucky in Virginia to avoid a hurricane, heavy rainfall is expected to cause additional flash floods and hazardous conditions in parts of the Commonwealth. I am grateful to the first rescuers and rescue teams now on the ground and I urge the Virginians in these regions remain vigilant."