More than 40 unaccounted for in US flood

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More than 40 people have been reported as unaccounted for after floodwaters swept a riverfront community in the US state of Virginia.

Eighteen search-and-rescue teams, including swiftwater crews, were dispatched to the area in and around Whitewood, in the southwest of the state, early on Wednesday, Buchanan County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Eric Breeding said.

More than 100 houses in the area have been damaged, and many roads and bridges were washed out by mudslides and high water, a Virginia state emergency management official told a news briefing.

Deputy Breeding said there were no confirmed fatalities or serious injuries so far, with the 44 people listed as 'unaccounted for' reflecting the number of individuals whose loved ones have reported their whereabouts as unknown after floods struck.

They are not yet considered 'missing', with many likely to have been left unreachable because of telephone and electricity service disruptions in the region.

Governor Glenn Youngkin declared a state of emergency in southwestern Virginia in order to hasten disaster assistance to the flood-stricken area.

The downpours blamed for the flooding were part of a larger storm system that struck the mid-Atlantic region on Tuesday night and early Wednesday, with showers continuing into the morning hours.

"Heavy rainfall caused flash flooding in Buchanan County, along with power outages, impacts to roads and other infrastructure and significant resource and operational challenges," Youngkin said.

Whitewood, an Appalachian community of about 500 people, is located along the Dismal River in Buchanan County near the borders with West Virginia and Kentucky.

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