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Heavy rainfall causes flooding, crashes in area

December 21, 2018

HUNTINGTON - The National Weather Service issued a flood warning and watch Thursday night as heavy rains continued to come down across the Tri-State area, causing flooded roadways and several vehicle crashes.

The NWS issued a flood warning until 10:15 p.m. Thursday as well as a flood watch that continued until midnight. A flood warning means flooding was actively happening in the area, and a watch means the situation made flooding possible.

The warning was issued for urban areas and small streams in Boyd, Greenup, Lawrence and Carter counties in Kentucky; Gallia, Jackson and Lawrence counties in Ohio; and Mason, Cabell, Putnam, Lincoln and Wayne counties in West Virginia.

The NWS reported excessive runoff from heavy rainfall caused flooding of streets around Huntington. The highest threat areas for flooding were the railroad underpasses at 1st, 8th, 10th, 16th and 20th streets. In addition, the railroad underpass at 14th Street West could flood. Flooding also could occur along 5th Avenue between 24th and 25th streets.

According to the NWS, the rain was expected to lighten up around 10 p.m. but continue into lighter rains throughout Friday, with a chance of wet snow. No snow accumulation is expected.

As of 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Cabell County 911 had reported 10 vehicle crashes since 3 p.m. on Interstate 64 alone, along with about 10 more crashes on roads around the area.

Nick Webb, a meteorologist at the NWS in Charleston, said this year is stacking up to be among the wettest on record in Huntington. The record for yearly rainfall in the city is 62.44 inches in 2011.

As of Wednesday evening, Huntington had seen 57.94 inches of rainfall in 2018, and two more inches were expected to accumulate by the end of Thursday night.

Webb said 2018′s rainfall is about 16.5 inches more than what is considered normal rainfall for the area.

Follow reporter Megan Osborne on Twitter and Facebook @megosborneHD.

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