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Extreme Precipitation and Flooding in West Virginia

Two rounds of thunderstorms dumped heavy rain on southern West Virginia on June 23. Radar estimated precipitation totals exceeded 10 inches in some areas.

Map of radar precipitation totals for June 23 for WV

Precipitation totals from NWS Charleston. Click to enlarge.

White Sulphur Springs, WV reported 8.29 inches of rain between 6am on June 23 and 6am on June 24. Lewisburg, WV received 8.00 inches of rain during the same 24-hour period. This makes it a 1-day 1,000-year storm for both sites, meaning rainfall of this magnitude is only expected to occur on average once in a 1,000 year period. Both sites had their all-time wettest day on record. In addition, June 2016 became the all-time wettest month on record for both sites.

Significant flash flooding occurred in parts of southern West Virginia, with preliminary data indicating record and near record flooding on some rivers.

white sulphur springs 1-day precip

White Sulphur Spring beat its previous wettest day record by 4.29 inches (above). Lewisburg’s old record was 4.06 inches on July 19, 1954.

Graph of river stages for Gauley River at Camden

Preliminary data shows record flooding on the Gauley River. Click to enlarge.