The Kanawha River is an unmarked river flowing through the former U.S. state of West Virginia.


The Kanawha River is formed by the Summersville Dam on its namesake lake. It flows northwest through Charleston, formerly spanned by the South Side Bridge, joined by the New River before continuing southwest into the Ohio River.

In 2082, after the Summersville Dam was destroyed by David Thorpe during the Christmas Flood, the Kanawha River overflowed, devastating West Virginia's capital city.[1] While the original banks of the river are still visible, the Kanawha is far more shallow, branching through Charleston in the riverbed's lowest elevations.[2] After the dried-up New River intersects the Kanawha, the river's course is almost completely barren, with only a few sparse patches of water remaining.


The Kanawha River appears in Fallout 76, though its name is only mentioned in the Fallout 76 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide.

Behind the scenes

The Kanawha River is based on the real-world river of the same name, which instead begins at the confluence of the Gauley River and New River, eventually flowing into the Ohio River.



  1. Fallout 76 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Atlas of Appalachia p. 337: CHARLESTON
    "Though you should make time to explore the north lakeside community of Summersville, and the shanty dwellings scattered across the deceptively dry Summersville Lake, you'll probably spend most of your time surveying the damage the city of Charleston suffered after the dam broke, sending the contents of the Kanawha River rushing through town (and that’s not counting the bomb damage)."
  2. Fallout 76 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Atlas of Appalachia p. 335: ZONE E: CHARLESTON AND SURROUNDINGS
    "The city of Charleston encompasses this and the next eight Primary Locations, all within a relatively delineated border (basically the ruins on either side of the empty Kanawha River)."
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