Gov. Northam declares state of emergency following heavy rain, flooding in Southwest Virginia

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Photos: Bristol Virginia Professional FireFighters Association

BUCHANAN COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency after Tropical Depression Ida caused heavy rainfall and flooding in Southwest Virginia.

Northam signed Executive Order 81 on Tuesday, August 31 to provide resources to areas of Southwest Virginia that were severely impacted.

“Localities in the southwest region have already experienced heavy rainfall in recent days, leading to flash floods and complicating storm preparation efforts,” a release from the governor’s office states. “In addition to the flood threat, there is also a risk of tornadoes across the Commonwealth late Tuesday night through Wednesday.”

Agencies from across Southwest Virginia reported heavy damage following the rainfall. Crews from across the region responded to ensure the safety of those impacted by the floods and mudslides.

“My thoughts are with those across the country impacted by this devastating storm,” Governor Northam stated in the release. “While we’re fortunate in Virginia to have avoided the hurricane itself, heavy rainfall is expected to cause additional flash flooding and dangerous conditions in portions of the Commonwealth. I’m grateful to the first responders and rescue crews currently on the ground, and I urge Virginians in these regions to stay alert.”

Buchanan County was especially affected by the tropical depression and has seen significant structural damage. A boil water notice has been issued for the Hurley community until further notice.

The Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office stated in a release there have not been any confirmed fatalities, as of Tuesday afternoon.

The state of emergency will allow the state to get resources and personnel to Southwest Virginia quickly in order to assist with recovery efforts, the release states.

You can read Executive Order 81 in its entirety below:

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