Gov. Northam declares state of emergency as southwest Virginia faces extra rainfall, flooding amid Tropical Depression Ida

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(Photo Courtesy: Roanoke FireEMS Department Facebook page)

RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — With Tropical Depression Ida expected to cause heavy rains and flooding along the I-81 and I-66 corridors, Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency on Tuesday.

According to officials, severe weather and rainfall already started hitting southwest Virginia localities on Monday, Aug. 30, leading to flash floods and complicating storm preparation efforts. 

For example, heavy rainfall caused flash flooding in Buchanan County, with the potential for additional flooding; downed trees; electrical outages; and impacts to roads, bridges, and other infrastructure.

In addition to the flood threat, there is also a risk of tornadoes across the Commonwealth from the late night hours on Tuesday, Aug. 31 through Wednesday, Sept. 1.

“My thoughts are with those across the country impacted by this devastating storm,” said Northam. “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.”

Severe weather is expected to continue as remnants from Tropical Depression Ida arrive in the Commonwealth.

“A state of emergency allows the Commonwealth to mobilize resources and to deploy people and equipment to assist in response and recovery efforts,” the governor’s office said in a statement on Tuesday. “The declaration also allows officials from Virginia to coordinate planning and evacuation resources with our state and local partners. This action does not apply to individuals or private businesses.”

You can read the full contents of Executive Order 81 here.

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