Floodwaters in West Virginia forced some high school students to hunker down for the night at an impromptu sleepover complete with pizza, board games and soccer pitches at the gym.
All schools in Lincoln County, in the southern part of the state, were closed Thursday two hours early due to high water, which made many roads impassable. Parents who were able to drive to the schools could pick up their children, but some students at Lincoln County High School in the town of Hamlin were forced to stay.
“At this point, the students are resting and settling in for the night,” the school district said in a notice posted to its Facebook page and website shortly before midnight.
Cribs, blankets, pillows and other supplies were donated by community members, shops and churches, school officials said, and staff members remained in place to supervise students.
Photos on the school’s Facebook page showed students playing board games in the cafeteria and throwing a football in the gymnasium. Pizza, juice boxes, and other donated foods were scattered on the tables. School officials said they would feed the students breakfast on Friday and then drive them home.
Officials halted classes Friday in Lincoln County and at least nine others after storms dumped nearly 3 inches (8 centimeters) of rain in some places. In Kanawha County, the state’s largest school bus lines have been modified or closed due to flooded roads. Gov. Jim Justice declared a state of emergency as the storms rolled Thursday.
In the southern West Virginia town of Pax, a woman called 911 saying her car was stuck in high water Friday morning and she couldn’t find her baby, the county sheriff’s office said. County of Fayette in a press release. Authorities said rescuers had arrived to help but were not releasing further details so far.
In Mingo County along West Virginia’s border with Kentucky and Virginia, a mudslide toppled some railroad cars loaded with coal near a mine, according to the county’s office of emergency services. The landslide also uprooted some homes, according to WCHS-TV, which reported residents were being helped to leave their homes. No injuries were reported and the State Police were sent to investigate.
The flooding occurred amid a series of thunderstorms that swept across the South. Flood advisories remained in effect for several counties in southern and central West Virginia. Thunderstorms were possible Friday from the Florida Panhandle to the North Carolina coast, National Weather Service meteorologist Bob Oravec said.
In Kansas City, Kansas, doctors at the University of Kansas have issued a call to the public to be careful after spending Thursday treating people who suffered broken wrists and even concussions from falling after an eight-to-night freezing drizzle. ten hours on the floor coated throughout the area with a thin glaze of ice.
Some parents were holding babies in their arms when they fell, causing injuries to the youngsters, the hospital said in a news release.
Associated Press writer Heather Hollingsworth of Mission, Kansas contributed to this report.