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by John G. Miller
ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR
(June 19)A wave of heavy thunderstorms dumped between 3 to 4 inches of rain on North Central West Virginia in a five-hour period Friday morning, causing flooding in most of the region.
Lewis and Doddridge counties seemed to be the hardest hit, but there were reports of stream and creek flooding in three other counties according to the National Weather Service in Charleston.
"There were severe thunderstorms in your area from about 3:30 a.m. until 8:30 a.m.," meteorologist Mark Sekelsky said. "There was probably at least 3 to 4 inches of rain in some of those areas in Lewis and Doddridge."
Most of Weston was dealing with flood-related problems, according to Tom McVay of the Weston Fire Department.
"We had to evacuate four or five people from Willis Street," McVay said. "And there's water covering a lot of the roadways. It seems like it's that way all over Lewis County."
A dispatcher at the Lewis County 9-1-1 center confirmed there was flooding in most areas of the county, and a Jane Lew fireman also confirmed some minor flooding in that area.
"There's a lot of flooding," the dispatcher said. "We've had calls all morning."
Mike Queen, 28, of Weston said the flooding near U.S. Route 33 off Interstate 79 was some of the worst that he could recall. Water was reported waist-deep at the Twin Lakes Camper Sales Inc. lot.
Queen, a former employee at the camper sales company, said, "We've been through it a couple times before, but never that high. It just moved up too fast."
Jason Ables, 21, of Weston compared it to flooding that hit the area in 1985.
"But it didn't come up that quick then," Ables said.
The damage in Doddridge County seemed isolated to the Big Isaac and New Milton areas, according to Pat Heaster, director of emergency services.
"We have reports of flooding along the Meathouse Fork of Middle Island Creek," Heaster said. "Most of the roads in that area of Big Isaac and New Milton are closed and we have reports of a bridge wash-out in that area. We have the state road checking on that."
Heaster said there were reports of two evacuations and several houses threatened by the water. He said the rest of the county wasn't in danger.
The Harrison County areas that border Doddridge County also reported some minor flooding. The Doddridge County Sheriff's Department confirmed the Marshville Road underpass was closed by high water.
The only other incident report as of 9 a.m. was a landslide on Route 18 heading into Lumberport. A 100-foot section of a hillside gave way, blocking one lane of the road.
The National Weather Service reported some flooding in Buckhannon and Randolph County and high water reports in Barbour County.
The area could get a break from the weather this afternoon until 2, according to Sekelsky.
"It probably will quiet down until the middle of the afternoon," Sekelsky said. "But that will be a critical time period. There's still a 40 percent chance of more thunderstorms developing, and if they do, heavy downpours are possible."