VDEM reports no deaths from Buchanan County flooding

Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 4:30 PM EDT
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BUCHANAN COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - First responders say all the original 44 missing people have been accounted for and there are no deaths from flash flooding that ravaged Buchanan County July 12.

“We expect the worst and hope for the best and that’s what happened again here,” Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s Billy Chrimes said.

Crews from all over Virginia responded to calls for help in Buchanan County.

“This was a monumental search effort,” Chrimes said. “A lot of area that we had to cover. We covered approximately 30 road miles worth of area and 400 structures.”

The initial 44 people reported missing have been found, but that doesn’t mean the work is over for first responders.

“We continue to take in requests for wellness checks, medical needs, food, shelter,” Chrimes said.

Chief Deputy of the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office Eric Breeding says there’s one major need right now.

“We’ve been contacted by many businesses and non-profit organizations on how they can help with our community,” he said. “Our immediate need at this time is cleaning supplies such as mops, buckets, shovels, general cleaning supplies, bleach, stuff like that.”

Donations can be made to Twin Valley Elementary School in Buchanan County.

Now, the focus turns to damage assessment.

“It’s everything from minor damage to houses that were washed away.”

Power outages and lack of cell phone service remain a big issue for people in Buchanan County.

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