PGA Tour: Priority is safety, recovery after deadly W.Va. storm

After a deadly storm swamped the area, the PGA Tour said it will provide an update in the next few days on the status of The Greenbrier Classic, scheduled to be played July 7-10 at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of West Virginia during this state of emergency," the PGA Tour said in a statement Friday. "While we assess the damage to The Greenbrier Resort to determine the feasibility of holding The Greenbrier Classic the week after next, the obvious priority is with the safety of that community and its recovery efforts."

A severe storm hit southeast West Virginia on Thursday, killing at least 23 people. Early reports indicate about 9 inches of rain damaged or destroyed more than 100 homes and knocked out power to tens of thousands of others, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said. About 500 people were stranded overnight in a shopping center when a bridge washed out, and dozens of other people had to be plucked off rooftops or rescued from their cars.

Greenbrier County Sheriff Jan Cahill described "complete chaos" in his county, one of the hardest hit.

"Roads destroyed, bridges out, homes burned down, washed off foundations," he said. "Multiple sections of highway just missing. Pavement just peeled off like a banana. I've never seen anything like that."

The Greenbrier Resort was experiencing heavy flooding and closed to guests until further notice.

"It's like nothing I've seen," owner and CEO Jim Justice said. "But our focus right now isn't on the property, the golf course or anything else. We're praying for the people and doing everything we can to get them the help they need."

Bubba Watson was visiting the resort and tweeted photos of the course.

"Prayers for @The_Greenbrier & surrounding areas. We are without power & it's still raining. Never seen this much rain! #WestVirginiaBeSafe," he wrote.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.