When torrential rains in Southwest Virginia caused severe flooding, emergency services were inundated with calls from people looking for love dones — 44 in total.



“We walk into it as a worst-case scenario. We plan for the worst, we hope for the best, and once again, that’s been the case,” said Billy Chrimes, head of search and rescue.

Chrimes said one of the biggest challenges for rescue crews was the large geographic area that was affected. He said crews searched 30 miles (and more than 400 structures.


“We’ve seen everything from the landslides to just flooded roads, where the road’s been completely washed away, and so that’s presented challenges with getting our teams in and making access,” he said.

“We have the mountains, not a lot of place for the water to go.”