Heavy Rains Bring Threat of Flash Flooding

By: Todd Corillo Email
By: Todd Corillo Email

Heavy rains expected in the Valley this week from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee pose the threat of flash flooding.

One area particularly susceptible to flooding concerns is downtown Waynesboro.

Businesses like the South River Fly Shop know the threat of rising waters from the South River are a constant concern.

Co-Owner Kevin Little says its not a matter of if his store will flood someday, but rather when.

"If you are downtown, especially lower down on the hill like we are, it's going to come up, you are going to have flooding at some point or another, it's just a matter of when," Little cautioned.

This is the first year of business for the fly shop, but co-owner Tommy Lawhorne has lived in Waynesboro since 1992 and has seen firsthand the damage flooding can cause.

"I've seen it flood up above this store, where this store had a couple of feet of water in it. It's pretty nasty, no two ways about it, it's pretty nasty," Lawhorne said.

Little and Lawhorne say they rely on being close to the river for their business, but say they also tried to balance out the threat that proximity brings with it when they chose to locate downtown.

"We had to balance out being far enough away to not get flooded every time it came up versus being close enough to be easily accessible to the river," Little explained.

The owners say they typically have enough warning to know when major flooding will be a concern for the shop and have help on stand-by to take down merchandise that would be impacted by flood waters.

"The plan basically is anything below 4 feet will be boxed, we have totes, will go out of the store, anything that is possible we'll set up on counter-tops just to make clean-up easier because that's the main worry - what are you going to with all that mud," Lawhorne said.

Lawhorne and Little say having the plan is reassuring, but they hope they won't have to put it into action for quite some time.

"We're looking at flooding in Waynesboro historically every six to ten years might be an issue, but we need to be close to the river everyday," Little explained.

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