West Virginia’s Experience Can Inform Flood Resiliency Efforts in Other Mountain States

Better data, ongoing investment, and community-based projects will be key to combating increasingly severe storms

Editor’s note: This data visualization was updated Feb. 2, 2024, to correct an error in the name of a state agency referenced in a photo caption.


  1. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Storm Events Database, January 1950 to April 2023, https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/.
  2. National Geospatial Program, “Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) Full Model for WV (Published 20230710) FileGDB,” U.S. Geological Survey, https://www.sciencebase.gov/catalog/item/643702c9d34ee8d4addcc20d.
  3. West Virginia GIS Technical Center, “Streams - Major Rivers and Lakes,” http://www.wvgis.wvu.edu/data/dataset.php?ID=204.
  4. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Storm Events Database.
  5. Derived from: NYU Furman Center, “Floodzonedata.us,” New York University School of Law and Wagner School of Public Service, https://floodzonedata.us/.
  6. Federal Emergency Management Agency, “Zone A,” U.S. Department of Homeland Security, https://www.fema.gov/glossary/zona.
  7. N. Zègre (West Virginia University associate professor of forest hydrology), testimony before the West Virginia Joint Legislative Committee on Flooding (Sept. 11, 2022).
  8. NYU Furman Center, “Floodzonedata.us.”
  9. Ibid.
  10. Derived from: First Street Foundation, “Flood Factor: Defining America’s Past, Present, and Future Flood Risk,” https://firststreet.org/risk-factor/flood-factor/.
  11. Derived from: Vulnerability Mapping Analysis Platform, “Social Vulnerability Mapping Tool,” University of Central Florida, https://www.vulnerabilitymap.org/Mapping-Tools/Social-Vulnerability.
  12. Derived from: NYU Furman Center, “Floodzonedata.us.”
  13. C. Hodousek, “Clendenin Remembers Historic Flood 6 Years Later,” MetroNews, June 23, 2022, https://wvmetronews.com/2022/06/23/clendenin-remembers-historic-flood-6-years-later/
  14. Ibid.; A. Bishop, “Clendenin Fire Chief Says Town Is More Prepared Three Years After Historic Flood,” Eyewitness News: WCHS 8/Fox 11, June 23, 2019, https://wchstv.com/news/local/three-years-since-historic-floods-and-clendenin-fire-chief-says-theyre-more-prepared.
  15. J. Severino, “'We’re Over This Flood': Five Years After June 2016 Flood, Clendenin Looks Toward the Future,” Charleston Gazette-Mail, June 22, 2021, https://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/kanawha_valley/were-over-this-flood-five-years-after-june-2016-flood-clendenin-looks-toward-the-future/article_7345b180-d824-5b32-baff-10cb56049de3.html.
  16. U.S. Census Bureau, “Quick Facts: Greenbrier County, West Virginia,” https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/map/greenbriercountywestvirginia,WV/IPE120221; B. Watts, “A Look Back: Four Years Since One of West Virginia’s Deadliest Floods,” WDBJ7.com, Jan. 23, 2020, https://www.wdbj7.com/2020/06/23/a-look-back-four-years-since-one-of-west-virginias-deadliest-floods/.
  17. Watts, “A Look Back.”
  18. WSAZ News Staff, “Flash Flooding: Portions of Huntington Underwater Following Storm,” WSAZ News Channel 3, May 6, 2022, https://www.wsaz.com/2022/05/06/flash-flooding-portions-huntington-under-water-following-storm/.
  19. C. Hessler, “Officials Hold out Hope for Federal Assistance as They Assess Flood Damage,” The Herald-Dispatch, May 10, 2022, https://www.herald-dispatch.com/news/officials-hold-out-hope-for-federal-assistance-as-they-assess-flood-damage/article_9ea3d9b8-255c-54e3-a0a7-ff3be4757a73.html.
  20. Zègre, statement.
  21. National Climate Change Assessment, “Heavy Downpours Increasing,” U.S. Global Change Research Program, https://nca2014.globalchange.gov/report/our-changing-climate/heavy-downpours-increasing#menu-highlights.
  22. B. Patterson, “After Deadly Floods, West Virginia Created a Resiliency Office. It’s Barely Functioning,” West Virginia Public Broadcasting, Jan. 27, 2020, https://wvpublic.org/after-deadly-floods-west-virginia-created-a-resiliency-office-its-barely-functioning/.
  23. West Virginia Senate Bill 586 (2020), https://www.wvlegislature.gov/Bill_Text_HTML/2020_SESSIONS/RS/signed_bills/senate/SB586%20SUB1%20ENR_signed.pdf.
  24. West Virginia GIS Technical Center, “WV Flood Tool,” West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, https://www.mapwv.gov/flood/map/.
  25. Derived from: First Street Foundation, “Flood Factor.”
  26. West Virginia Senate Bill 677 (2023), https://www.wvlegislature.gov/Bill_Status/bills_history.cfm?INPUT=677&year=2023&sessiontype=RS.
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