UPDATE (7/17/20 9:31 p.m.):
AUDRA, W.Va. – According to the National Weather Service in Charleston, W.Va., 3.30 inches of rain came down in swaths during the early morning hours on Friday. The Tygart Valley and Middle Fork rivers reacted to these rainfall events at approximately 4 p.m. Friday; the water’s reaction caused a steep and brief water rise of four-to-five feet.
The National Weather Service said that the water rise was not enough to cause flooding, but was enough to produce issues for swimmers.
UPDATE (7/17/20 8:08 p.m.):
According to Barbour County 911 officials, three separate water rescues at Audra State Park resulted in a successful return to safety of all 12 individuals.
“The water just kind of came up,” said Austin Lusk, one of the swimmers rescued from Rock Cave. “We noticed the water’s getting a little rougher, whenever my foot kind of hit the water and I realized that it was taking my foot, I was like, ah yeah I’m not going to try that.”
No transports were made officials stated.
UPDATE (7/17/20 5:49 p.m.):
Barbour County 911 officials are now saying that between 10 and 13 people are being rescued at Audra State Park. However, a more exact figure is not available at this time.
ORIGINAL STORY (7/17/20 5:39 p.m.):
Multiple emergency crews are attempting to rescue eight people at Audra State Park, according to Barbour County 911 officials.
On Friday, at 3:17 p.m., 911 officials told 12 News that crews were alerted to a water rescue at Middle Fork River in Audra State Park. Currently, crews have sent five different rescue boats, according to 911 officials.
Officials confirmed that fire departments from Belington, Junior, Philippi, Nutter Fort, Bridgeport, Grafton, Buckhannon and Elkins are currently on scene, alongside Belington EMS, Barbour County EMS, the Barbour County Sheriff’s Department and West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.
There is no word on the extent of any injuries at this time.
Stay with 12 News for the latest on this developing story.