SPENCER -- Roane County is cleaning up after perhaps its worst flood ever -- and praying there is no more rain.
The National Weather Service's Charleston office reported the Spencer area received 2-and-a-half to 3 inches of rain in a 12-hour period ending at noon Thursday.
"Spencer is just waterlogged right now, and landlocked," said Roane County Delegate Bob Ashley about 11 a.m. Thursday.
Ashley is also one of the few insurance agents in the community. On Thursday morning, his office was flooded with calls, following what he estimated as 3 inches of rain in two hours.
"All we have to do is pray this water goes down before the next storm," Ashley said.
The National Weather Service said the burst of rain over Roane County was the result of a low-pressure system coming from the north that dragged a cold front across the area. After the cold front crossed into the area, it created cooler, drier air masses, ending the threat of continued heavy rainfall.
But even after the rainfall passed, stream and rivers initially could continue to rise because of runoff, causing continued flooding.
The weather service warned that all that floodwater was going to keep on flowing down the Pocatalico River overnight through Sissonville, the Camp Virgil Tate area and then down to Poca.
Forecasters predicted, though, that those areas would not be nearly as hard hit as Roane County and that most would be minor overflow.
Dry weather is forecast for today and Saturday, which should allow water levels to recede.
"After all this recedes we'll see what's under the water and how bad the damage really is," said Spencer Police Chief Morgan McClure. "Any time a disaster like this happens, a community really comes together. People take care of each other."
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin issued a State of Emergency for Roane County on Thursday afternoon, making the announcement via Twitter.
"The governor has committed whatever is needed here to make sure everything is taken care of and start getting people back to normal as quickly as we possibly can," said Jimmy Gianato, state director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
Three of the major roads leading into Spencer -- U.S. 119, U.S. 33 and county Route 36 - were all impassable following the storms, residents said. Water washed away asphalt from parts of 119.
"It's the most water that's been in Spencer in my lifetime," said Ashley, 59, adding that neighbors in their 80s and 90s agreed.
The first floor of a two-story low-income senior living center in Spencer also flooded. Marquette Manor is home to "probably several dozen" people, Ashley said.
Emergency officials were helping to evacuate people to the old National Guard Armory about a quarter of a mile from the center. The Red Cross set up a shelter at the center.
Outside of Spencer, Ashley had heard of problems in the communities of Alvord and Reedy. Reedy, a few miles north of Spencer, has a reputation for flooding.
"Reedy always floods, so we know it's bad," Ashley said.
Disaster struck about 10 a.m. Thursday when waters began to rise out of creek beds and soon reached roads, homes, businesses and even the 911 Center in Spencer. U.S. 119 and downtown Spencer were the hardest hit.
About 40 residents were displaced from their homes, said State Police Col. Dave Lemmon. 900 to 1,000 residents were without power. Some power was expected to restored by midnight.
Statewide, the storms left about 40,000 utility customers in the state without electricity Thursday.
In Spencer, the Red Cross was activated and set up a shelter at the National Guard Armory on Main Street. Lemon said about 50 people had used the shelter so far.
There is not yet an estimate of damage costs, Lemmon said.
"We want to assess what damage is out there," Lemmon said. "It's a multi-agency response. We're coming together and sharing resources and cooperation on how to best confront the damage and get people restored back to their natural way of living."
There were no reports of injuries or fatalities. There were nine water rescues Thursday, and water rescue teams remained on standby if more are required.