A dangerous flash flood situation unfolded earlier this week from the central Plains to the Ohio Valley and lower mid-Atlantic, where torrential downpours repeated daily. A stalled frontal boundary across the Middle Mississippi River Valley into the Ohio River Valley brought rounds of heavy rainfall and flooding from Tuesday through Friday morning. Consistent heavy rain and thunderstorms crossed Kentucky, southern West Virginia, and southwestern Virginia. Additional rain and thunderstorms developed from eastern Missouri through southern Indiana and western Kentucky impacting the region heavily Wednesday night, and again Thursday night. The ground was already moist across most of this corridor making it easier for this amount of rainfall to produce major flash flooding in the region or exacerbate ongoing flooding problems.
DANGEROUS FLOODING IN KENTUCKY
A flooding disaster unfolded in eastern Kentucky from Wednesday night into early Thursday with abundant damage and fears of significant loss of life in Breathitt, Clay, Owsley, Floyd, Letcher, and Pike counties. At least six counties have declared local states of emergency. Over the past three days, areas in eastern Kentucky have seen almost 10 inches of rain. In Buckhorn Lake, 10.4 inches, in Pippa Passes 9.27 inches, in Rockhouse 9.00 inches, in Oneida, 8.87 inches, and in Hazard, 8.55 inches.
There were reports of flash flooding, mudslides, and power outages across the mountainous region where thunderstorms have dumped several inches of rain over the past few days. Poweroutage.US reported over 23,000 power outages in eastern Kentucky, and nearly 10,000 more in southern West Virginia and among the mountains of western Virginia. Unrelenting rounds of excessive rainfall will continue to be a threat into this weekend, from Colorado to North Carolina. Not only will a persistent weather setup continue the risk of flash flooding in urban areas and along small streams, but it will also lead to significant rises in water levels of secondary rivers in the region.