Tara McKown of Cox Fork, Roane County, parked her car at the Walton Post Office and waded, instead of driving, through the water covering River Road.
She was trying to get to her job as a custodian at Walton Elementary and Middle School.
"I'm OK, I just can't get through," McKown said. "My son called and [said] my daughter's bridge washed away so she can't get back home. She's at work."
About an hour later, she kept her eyes toward the post office and her nearby car. Water continued to rise and she couldn't get to it.
The state Department of Transportation said just before noon Thursday on its Twitter feed that all available Division of Highways resources were being sent to Roane County to block roads. The State Police asked all motorists to avoid the roads leading to Spencer, and said many of those roads "will be closed for an undetermined amount of time."
Roane County residents had been trapped by water earlier Thursday on Clay Road in Looneyville, Arnoldsburg Road and Round Knob Road in Spencer and Little Left Hand Road in Amma.
"It's swift-moving high water," a dispatcher said early in the morning. "It's coming up so quickly and catching people off guard -- and people are driving through it, too."
Heavy rain also caused a rockslide to close U.S. 119 in Spencer for about an hour Thursday morning. That was before high floodwater caused firefighters to close the road in Walton.
Just before 3 p.m., the second round of rain had stopped in Spencer, said Terrance Lively of the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
"The whole county was hit by both bands of storms," Lively said.
The DOT said the eastbound lanes of U.S. 33 in Jackson County also was closed for hours.
Elsewhere in Jackson County, 911 dispatchers said early Thursday that they'd received calls about high water on Homersmith Road in Fairplain, Copperfork Road in Sandyville and Pleasant Valley Road in Kenna.
Several roads in the county were closed because of high water, according to DOT.
The National Weather Service said the Spencer area received up to 3 inches of rain in a 12-hour period ending at noon Thursday.
Statewide, the storms left about 40,000 utility customers without electricity. By 10:30 p.m. Thursday, about 12,600 residents statewide were without power. About 135 FirstEnergy customers in Roane County also were without electricity.
The Associated Press and staff writers Kate White and Laura Reston contributed to this report.
Reach Lori Kersey at lori.ker...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.
Reach Travis Crum at travis.c...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.