Flood damage in the Pilgrim's Knob section of Buchanan County. Photo by Lakin Keene.

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The last three people who were unaccounted for after massive flooding hit part of Buchanan County late Tuesday are safe, the sheriff’s office told a local TV station Thursday.

How to help

Donate to the Buchanan County 2022 Disaster Fund at https://unitedwayswva.charityproud.org/Donate/Index/19717 or by calling Cristie Lester at 276-525-4071.

Early Wednesday, as the scope of the overnight flooding became clear, local officials had said that 44 people were unaccounted for. They emphasized that many of those people likely were in homes that had been cut off from roads and phone service, and were safe but unable to make contact with loved ones. Cellphone service is spotty at best in the area, and most residents maintain landline service. 

Door-to-door canvassing had been going on since Wednesday morning, but the task was complicated by still-high water and large piles of debris. 

By Thursday morning, the number had dropped to 17, and by lunchtime everyone had been accounted for, according to a report on television station WCYB.

The National Weather Service office in Charleston, West Virginia, said it had reports of 4.5 inches to 5 inches of rain falling over the area in just a few hours Tuesday night. The agency issued a flash flood warning at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management is still determining the extent of damages and will have crews in the area on Friday to begin the assessment process, spokesperson Lauren Opett said Thursday.

The Virginia Department of Transportation has sent crews from across the region to help reopen roads. Spokeswoman Michelle Earl said that as of Thursday morning, three VDOT routes remained impassable: Virginia 715, Virginia 635 and Virginia 628. A span of bridge has been washed out on Virginia 715, but the other two roads are expected to reopen to some traffic by the end of the day.

PBS show set in Danville nominated for regional Emmy

The PBS show that brings famous musicians to Danville has been nominated for a Capital Emmy award.

“The Life of a Musician,” created by Danville resident Brandon Adams, features famous acoustic artists in historic locations around the city. 

The first of the show’s two seasons is a contender in the “Interview/Discussion” category. 

“There couldn’t be people who are more shocked than us,” Adams said about the nomination, adding that his team never considered the possibility of winning an award when they created the show.

Adams said he’s especially proud of the nomination because of its category. 

“The fact that they felt like the conversation and the content of those conversations, along with the music, was worthy of recognition, that makes me happy,” he said. “At the end of the day, they thought it’s a good conversation. There’s good content here. It’s not just throwaway TV.”

In most episodes of the show, Adams converses with a famous musician, and then the two play a few songs together. In a few episodes, which Adams calls house concerts, the musician plays a live show in an intimate setting with no question-and-answer portion. 

Featured musicians have included John Jorgenson, guitarist for Sting, Elton John and Bob Dylan, who appeared in the first season, and Redd Volkaert, lead guitarist for Merle Haggard’s band The Strangers, who appeared in the second season. 

Episodes have been filmed in locations across the city and have featured featured local businesses like The Dog-Eared Page, a downtown bookstore, as well as historic homes. 

Adams said the nomination is still surreal, and he’s trying not to focus on it too much. 

“I’m still just mowing my lawn and petting my cat,” he said. “Pretending like it isn’t happening. … If we get submitted for a nomination for season two, I’ll take it seriously.”

— Grace Mamon

Power remained out Thursday morning to about 1,300 Appalachian Power customers in the area, spokeswoman Teresa Hamilton Hall said. That total includes houses that have been destroyed or so badly damaged that can’t be reconnected, she said; the utility hopes to have power restored to most of the other homes by tomorrow.

One Appalachian Power substation was destroyed and two others were damaged, Hall said. Appalachian crews also are dealing with downed distribution lines. Trees continue to fall in some places where the ground is saturated, she said, so outage numbers are expected to fluctuate.

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Megan Schnabel is managing editor for Cardinal News. Reach her at megan@cardinalnews.org or 540-819-4969.