Rainfall Creates Dangerous Fishing Conditions

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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) -- With all of the recent rainfall, water levels on the South River continue to rise.

While flooding may not be a concern in the area, local fisherman, who frequent the river, are warning people not to fish or wade in the river for a couple of days.

"It can be very dangerous," said Tommy Lawhorne, the co-owner of the South River Fly Shop.

Lawhorne ties flies for fly fishing, but he doesn't plan on wading out into the water to fish on Wednesday, "They may know a spot and feel like they can wade in there, but the current's a lot stronger and it's a lot deeper, so they could get into trouble pretty quickly."

He said when the water rises quickly, it's best to stay away. "It's not safe to even attempt to wade in it," said Lawhorne.

In downtown Waynesboro, shop owners don't start worrying about flooding until they receive a reverse 911 call.

Webber Payne, who owns a building downtown, said there are too many floods to remember.

"Well when the water rises, we just start moving things up. So luckily enough, this part of the building, it's been ankle deep before. Now the jeweler next door has been waist deep and it's a little harder to get things up higher," said Payne.

The water from the river comes in through the back doors. There are visible signs of left-behind caulk from trying to seal doors to keep the water out.

When the building does flood, plenty of gunk is left behind. "Dirty carpets and mud. It is messy since the water comes from the river," said Payne

The flooding is an issue the city is trying to fix.

"Improvements they've made. We think they've worked, but we don't know because we haven't been tested. And we really don't want to be tested," said Payne.

As the rain continues this week, Payne is hopeful that in the future he won't have to worry so much about flooding.

With Riverfest this weekend, there will be canoes going down the river; however, Lawhorne warns that people will have to be careful because the current could still be faster than normal.


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