West Virginia's worst flooding in a century kills 24

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At Least 24 Dead in West Virginia Floods as Search and Rescue Continues

West Virginia's three most devastated counties and possibly others will receive federal assistance after the state's worst flooding in more than a century killed at least 24 people, officials said on Saturday.

President Barack Obama declared a major disaster for West Virginia and ordered federal aid to affected individuals in Kanawha, Greenbrier and Nicholas counties that could include grants for temporary housing, repairs and other programs.

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Obama spoke with West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin on Saturday afternoon to give his condolences and make sure the governor has the federal resources he needs, White House spokesman Eric Schultz said.

West Virginia's death toll from flooding is the highest for any U.S. state this year, with 16 deaths reported in Greenbrier County in southeast West Virginia, where the heaviest rain fell, and six in Kanahwa County, officials said.

See more of the historic flooding:

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West Virginia flooding June 2016
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West Virginia flooding June 2016
Jimmy Scott gets a hug from Anna May Watson, left, as they clean up from severe flooding in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., Friday, June 24, 2016. Scott lost his home to the flood and a fire that consumed his and the homes of several relatives. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Mark Lester, left, and a local firefighter look through the remnants of the home of Ron Scott which was torn off it's foundation and burned after severe flooding in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., Friday, June 24, 2016. A deluge of 9 inches of rain on parts of West Virginia destroyed or damaged more than 100 homes and knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Ron Scott, right, recovers a shirt from the burned remnants of his home that was swept off it's foundation and burned after from severe flooding hit in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., Friday, June 24, 2016. A deluge of 9 inches of rain on parts of West Virginia destroyed or damaged more than 100 homes and knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Kelly Vaughan looks over flood damaged belongings in her fathers home as they clean up from severe flooding in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., Friday, June 24, 2016. There were several fatalities around the state. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Isabel Vaughan, sorts through some of her grandfathers belongings as as they clean up from severe flooding in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., Friday, June 24, 2016. There were several fatalities around the state. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Emergency crews take out boats on a flooded I-79 at the Clendenin Exit, after the state was pummeled by up to 10 inches of rain on Thursday, causing rivers and streams to overflow into neighboring communities, in Kanawha County, West Virginia, June 24, 2016. West Virginia Department of Transportation/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Emergency crews take out boats on a flooded I-79 at the Clendenin Exit, after the state was pummeled by up to 10 inches of rain on Thursday, causing rivers and streams to overflow into neighboring communities, in Kanawha County, West Virginia, June 24, 2016. West Virginia Department of Transportation/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
A damaged car is seen after the state was pummeled by up to 10 inches of rain on Thursday, causing rivers and streams to overflow into neighboring communities, in Elkview, West Virginia, June 24, 2016. West Virginia Department of Transportation/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
A White Sulphur Springs resident sorts through debris as the cleanup begins from severe flooding in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., Friday, June 24, 2016. A deluge of 9 inches of rain on parts of West Virginia destroyed or damaged more than 100 homes and knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Lee Bland, of White Sulphur Springs, looks for belongings in the burned out home of a relative as they clean up from severe flooding in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., Friday, June 24, 2016. A deluge of 9 inches of rain on parts of West Virginia destroyed or damaged more than 100 homes and knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Mark Bowes, of White Sulphur Springs W. Va., makes his way to the road as he cleans up from severe flooding in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., Friday, June 24, 2016. A deluge of 9 inches of rain on parts of West Virginia destroyed or damaged more than 100 homes and knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Anna May Watson, right, hugs a relative as they clean up from severe flooding in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., Friday, June 24, 2016. A deluge of 9 inches of rain on parts of West Virginia destroyed or damaged more than 100 homes and knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
In this photo released by the The Weather Channel, a vehicle rests on the roof after flooding near White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., Friday, June 24, 2016. Multiple fatalities have been reported in flooding that has devastated parts of the state, a state official said Friday morning. The fatalities included at least one child and one adult. Justin Michaels/The Weather Channel via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT.
Mark Lester cleans out a box with creek water as he cleans up from severe flooding in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., Friday, June 24, 2016. A deluge of 9 inches of rain on parts of West Virginia destroyed or damaged more than 100 homes and knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
The West Virginia State Highway 4 along the Elk River shows extensive damages after flood water has dropped in the Clendenin, West Virginia, U.S., June 25, 2016. hit by flooding. Courtesy West Virginia Department of Transportation/Handout via REUTERS 
High water is seen at Big Chimney, after the state was pummeled by up to 10 inches of rain on Thursday, causing rivers and streams to overflow into neighboring communities, in Kanawha County, West Virginia, June 24, 2016. West Virginia Department of Transportation/Handout via Reuters 
Bridgeport W.Va. fireman, Ryan Moran, marks a flooded home as searched and empty as he and a crew search homes in Rainelle, W. Va., Saturday, June 25, 2016. Heavy rains that pummeled West Virginia left multiple people dead, and authorities said Saturday that an unknown number of people in the hardest-hit county remained unaccounted for. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
West Virginia Natural Resources police officer Chris Lester searches a flooded home in Rainelle, W. Va., Saturday, June 25, 2016. About 32,000 West Virginia homes and businesses remain without power Saturday after severe flooding hit the state. The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management also said Saturday that more than 60 secondary roads in the state were closed.. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
West Virginia Natural Resources police officer Chris Lester, left, walks into the top floor of a flooded home as he and Lt. Dennis Feazell search homes in Rainelle, W. Va., Saturday, June 25, 2016. About 32,000 West Virginia homes and businesses remain without power Saturday after severe flooding hit the state. The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management also said Saturday that more than 60 secondary roads in the state were closed. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
West Virginia State Trooper C.S. Hartman, left, and Bridgeport W.Va. fireman, Ryan Moran, wade through flooded streets as they search homes in Rainelle, W. Va., Saturday, June 25, 2016. Teams were rescuing people from second-story windows, the hoods of cars and the tops of trees as floodwaters drenched southeastern West Virginia. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
This Thursday June 23, 2016 image provided by the Greenbrier shows flooding on the 17th green of the Old White Course at the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. Severe flooding hit the area that is scheduled to host a PGA tour event in two weeks. (Cam Huffman/The Greenbrier via AP)
Ron Scott, right, recovers a shirt from the burned remnants of his home that was swept off it's foundation and burned after from severe flooding hit in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., Friday, June 24, 2016. A deluge of 9 inches of rain on parts of West Virginia destroyed or damaged more than 100 homes and knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Rainelle W.Va. Mayor, Andrea Pendleton, right, talks to resident Nicholas Remick as she tours the flooded streets of Rainelle, W. Va., Saturday, June 25, 2016. Heavy rains that pummeled West Virginia left multiple people dead, and authorities said Saturday that an unknown number of people in the hardest-hit county remained unaccounted for. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Residents walk past an overturned car as the cleanup begins from severe flooding in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., Friday, June 24, 2016. A deluge of 9 inches of rain on parts of West Virginia destroyed or damaged more than 100 homes and knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Mark Bowes, of White Sulphur Springs W. Va., makes his way to the road as he cleans up from severe flooding in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., Friday, June 24, 2016. A deluge of 9 inches of rain on parts of West Virginia destroyed or damaged more than 100 homes and knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
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The Federal Emergency Management Agency and state officials were assessing damage in at least six other counties and the state may ask for additional assistance, Tomblin said. Ohio and Jackson counties also reported one death each.

The death toll in West Virginia is the highest in any state from flooding this year. At least 16 people, including nine U.S. soldiers, were killed in flooding in Texas earlier in June.

Up to 10 inches (25.4 cm) of rain fell on Thursday in the mountainous state, sending torrents of water from rivers and streams through homes and causing widespread devastation.

Tomblin has declared a state of emergency in 44 of 55 counties and expects 400 members of the West Virginia National Guard to help rescue efforts on Saturday. About 32,000 homes and businesses remained without power on Saturday.

Hundreds of people have been rescued and search and rescue teams were looking for more people on Saturday, said Tim Rock, spokesman for the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Some towns were completely surrounded by water and hundreds of houses and buildings have been lost, Rock said.

The Greenbrier resort was closed indefinitely and PGA Tour officials said on Saturday the Greenbrier Classic golf tournament due to begin on July 7 had been canceled because of extensive flood damage.

West Virginia received one-quarter of its annual rainfall in a single day and multiple rivers surged to dangerous levels, including the Elk River, which broke a record at one stage that had stood since 1888.

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