A deluge of 9 inches of rain on parts of West Virginia destroyed or damaged more than 100 homes, knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses and killed 14 people, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said.
About 500 people were stranded overnight in a shopping center when a bridge washed out, and dozens of other people had to be plucked off rooftops or rescued as waters quickly rose during the storm.
“Our focus remains on search and rescue,” the governor said.
The deaths included an 8-year-old boy and a 4-year-old boy who were swept away in different counties, authorities said. Greenbrier County Sheriff Jan Cahill described “complete chaos” in his county, which was one of the hardest hit.
“Roads destroyed, bridges out, homes burned down, washed off foundations,” he said. “Multiple sections of highway just missing. Pavement just peeled off like a banana. I’ve never seen anything like that.”