Late July Princeton rainstorm rated “1 in 500 year” event

On July 29th, 4-7 inches of rain throughout central Mercer County, flooding parts of Princeton, Melrose, Lilly Grove, and Athens. Now, the rarity of the event is coming into scope. 

At the wastewater treatment facility in Princeton, a continuous record of rain measurements has been ongoing since 1940. Another measurement period between 1900 and 1914 exists, bringing the entire period of records for Princeton to 92 years. The July 29th rainstorm dumped 5.78 inches of rain on the measurement site- an all time record for the site.

"It wasn’t until we came in the next day and saw the ditches washed out and a lot of debris on the roads that I thought wow, we did get a lot of rain last night and then when we got here and saw the measurements, yeah it was a lot of rain," said Princeton Sanitary Board Superintendent Randall Bailey. 

According to the National Weather Service, that extreme reading qualifies as a "1 in 500 year" flood event, meaning that a similar event has a 0.2% chance of occurring on any given year. This doesn’t mean Princeton is safe from similar events for 500 years, although incredibly unlikely, a similar rain event could happen at anytime. Instead, take the 500 year event label as an example of just how remarkable and rare the rainstorm was. 



More News

WVVA Weather Authority

Turning colder this weekend

Turning colder this weekend

(WVVA) Dry weather will come to an end Friday night as a cold front approaches our area. Rain will likely hold

Connect With WVVA
Top Stories

WVVA’s LIVE Football Friday Scoreboard (Oct. 19)

Here you will find the updates scores throughout the night.

UPDATE: Special Education Teacher to appear in Circuit Court, child abuse charges

A woman facing child abuse charges is expected to be in Mercer County Circuit Court on Monday. Marlene “Molly” Robinson

Supporting a child during abuse cases, Mercer County

When a criminal child abuse allegation is made, the Mercer County Multi-disciplinary Investigative team is activated to investigate and respond.

UPDATE: Pinnacle mine officially closed

PINEVILLE, W.Va. (WVVA) Wyoming County’s biggest mine and largest private employer has officially closed. According to miners, the Pinnacle Mine

Wyoming County homeowner arrested after dog left to die

BUD, W.Va. (WVVA) A Wyoming County homeowner was arrested on Thursday after police said she left a dog on her

Scroll to top
Skip to content