Inland Flooding Does Pose Threat to Area During Hurricane Season


Hurricane season is in full swing and although we don't live by a coastline, inland flooding can be dangerous.

July 16 is Virginia's Inland Flooding Awareness day. It's always important to pay attention to those tropical storms that could affect us here in the Valley.

With recent heavy rains and flooding, it's a reminder that bad weather can strike at any time.

Gene Stewart is with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. He says, "Even with the recent rainstorm just last week, there were areas flooded that had never seen flooding before. Because of previous floods, it changes the contour of the streams."

Gene Stewart used to live in Luray, and work with the Volunteer Fire Department and the Page County Sheriff's office. He's seen plenty acts of mother nature over the years.

In 1996, Page county and most of the Mid-Atlantic was hit hard from a remnant hurricane.

Stewart says, "You start thinking, okay how much rain is this really going to hit us with."

Hurricane Fran, or the remnants of, did bring rain.

Over a foot of rain into Pendleton and Hardy counties, and eight to 16 inches in the Valley.

Stewart says, "Most people don't realize that these systems can stall out. And this one did stall out, on the Blue Ridge mountain."

Winds, power outages and thousands were evacuated. Some of the worst flooding the area has ever seen.

Stewart says, "We experienced flooding that hadn't been seen in 100-500 years."

Out of the top 10 worst river flooding events, hurricanes hold three of those top spots.

According to the National Weather Service, Dianne, Camille, and Fran are listed as the top worst river flooding events in Virginia.

Most deaths due to high water can be prevented. And that's why you never attempt to drive into or cross fast moving water.


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