A local West Virginia sheriff had a stern warning for would-be looters looking to capitalize on the heavy flooding.
Authorities are still collecting donations and delivering supplies after floods left thousands homeless and 23 dead. Fayette County Sheriff Steve Kessler published a statement on Facebook responding to reports of looting because of the flooding.
“Anyone we catch looting will be arrested and jailed,” Kessler said in the statement. “If the residents of this area catch you first, you may not make it to jail. If you are not a resident of this area and don’t have family members in the area you are trying to help, you need to stay out of this area.”
Experts called the rainfall a “one-in-1,000-year” deluge of water, with the area’s mountainous terrain funneling water to some areas that were particularly hard hit.
“The Nallen/Russellville area suffered extensive damage during the recent floods,” the sheriff’s office posted on Facebook. “Many citizens of this area have lost everything. We are now receiving reports of looters and thieves coming into the area. This WILL NOT BE TOLERATED! Sheriff’s Deputies will be initiating extra patrols in this area and the citizens have also implemented armed patrols to protect what is left of their homes and possessions.”
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