The Latest: Governor: Thousands of homes, businesses damaged

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Posted: Jun 27, 2016 2:39 PM
The Latest: Governor: Thousands of homes, businesses damaged

ANSTED, W.Va. (AP) — The Latest on flooding that has devastated parts of West Virginia(all times local):

2:25 p.m.

West Virginia's governor says thousands of homes and businesses across the state have been damaged or destroyed in the flooding.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said during a press conference in Clendenin on Monday that thousands of homes will not be habitable again and thousands of others will need to be fixed.

Tomblin says he doesn't have any specific numbers on the destruction yet. The flooding started Thursday when storms dumped up to 9 inches of rain over a period of a few hours, causing flash flooding that killed at least 23 people. More than 400 people are staying in shelters across the state.

Clendenin Mayor Gary Bledsoe said 99 percent of the town's businesses are gone and at least 80 percent of the homes have water in them. The town has a population of about 1,200 people.

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12:15 p.m.

A hard-hit area of flood-ravaged West Virginia is getting pounded by another round of rain.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning Monday for an area that includes Greenbrier County.

Heavy rain is causing water to pond on roads near the community of Rainelle.

Along U.S. Route 60 in Greenbrier County, the piles along the roadside come in two forms: donated items and discarded belongings.

A steady stream of National Guard trucks is moving throughout the county. Up to 9 inches of rain fell on parts of the state last week, destroying homes and businesses, flooding cars and killing at least 23 people.

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11:05 a.m.

A state emergency management official says the two men who were presumed dead and later found alive in the West Virginia floods had been camping or getting ready to set up camp.

Timothy Rock, a spokesman for West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said Monday that when the rains started last week, the two men left all of their camping gear, their truck and possibly got a ride with someone out of the camping area.

He says first responders found their gear and the truck and reported them missing. The men turned up on Sunday.

Rock did not know their ages or where they were found. He says they were camping at the Blue Bend area in Greenbrier, which was one of the hardest-hit counties.

The discovery lowers the death toll to 23. That includes 20 bodies found and three people missing who are presumed dead.

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11 a.m.

A sheriff in a flood-ravaged community in West Virginia says residents have formed armed patrols to protect what is left of theirs homes and possessions after reports of looting.

WCHS-TV reports (http://bit.ly/28Yjjm8) Fayette County Sheriff Steve Kessler said in a statement posted to Facebook that looting has been reported in the areas of Nallen and Russellville, which were extensively damaged by floodwaters.

Kessler said looting "will not be tolerated." The sheriff's department has started extra patrols in the area and says anyone caught looting will be arrested and jailed. The sheriff also issued a warning to looters: "If the residents of this area catch you first, you may not make it to jail."

He said people who don't live in the area or have loved ones there should stay away.

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10:30 a.m.

West Virginia officials say two men presumed dead in West Virginia flooding have been found alive.

In a memo Monday, state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Jimmy Gianato says two men thought to have been swept away in a camper in Greenbrier County were found alive. The details of where the men were found were not immediately released.

The discovery lowers the death toll to 23. That includes 20 bodies found and three people who are presumed dead.

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8:45 a.m.

National Guard teams are removing debris as authorities prepare for another round of expected storms after flooding devastated parts of the state.

West Virginia Emergency Management Agency spokesman Tim Rock said Monday that "everybody's just keeping an eye on the sky" as search and rescue teams continue to check whether everyone is accounted for.

More heavy rains are forecast later Monday in West Virginia, where floodwaters have killed at least 25 people in the past week. More than 20 counties, most in the southern part of the state, were under a flash flood watch. The National Weather Service warned downpours were possible in many areas already ravaged by flooding.

Teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are taking stock of the damage and National Guard crews are removing debris, he said.

Rock said recovery teams plan to work as much as possible but may pull back if storms intensify.

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3:30 a.m.

More heavy rains are expected in West Virginia, where floodwaters have killed at least 25 people in the past week.

More than 20 counties were under a flash flood watch Monday. The National Weather Service says downpours were possible in many areas already ravaged by flooding, including Kanawha and Nicholas counties.

The forecast also includes hardest-hit Greenbrier County, where 17 people have died and floodwaters have yet to recede.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin chief of staff Chris Stadelman says authorities still believe there are people missing in Greenbrier County.

As the next round of storms arrive, many residents are still trying to come to grips with ruined property and where they'll live next.