Flooding continues in the New River Valley

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RADFORD, Va. (WDBJ7/Gray News)— Massive amounts of rain in the past four days have taken the New River well beyond its boundaries.

Another day of nonstop rain in the New River Valley has taken the river to heights it hasn’t seen in years.

“What we’ve tried to do is flood-proof everything as much as possible so that we don’t have as many issues,” said Radford Mayor David Horton. “Sometimes there’s just nothing you can do about Mother Nature dropping 7-10 inches of rain in one area.”

Swift water rescue crews rescued several drivers Thursday who got trapped in those currents. In Pulaski County, officials said they rescued one person on top of a car along Hazel Hollow Road. They also rescued three people from a vehicle on Parrott River Road.

“You can’t tell how deep that is or how swift it is and cars that think they can get through that many times get stuck causing danger to our swift water rescue folks,” Horton said.

In Radford, Sparky’s Run Dog Park is now almost completely submerged as water keeps rising. Horton said fences in the park are about seven feet tall, and by Thursday night, they were completely under water. The scene drew dozens of visitors to capture the moment.

“After work the girls wanted to go look at the water,” said Charity Lewis. “They’ve been looking on social media seeing all the flooding.”

America, the dog, loves visiting the park according to her owner Ken Eckert. He said he wanted to come check out the flooding for himself.

“This is insane, I can’t believe it had gone back this far,” Eckert said. “I’m used to the river being high, but nothing like this, nothing like this.”

Nate Bullard decided it would be a good place to try and catch some bass.

“Water’s a little deeper here, I guess the incline’s a little more so it gives me a better chance to catch something,” Bullard said. “Figured I’d give it a shot here.”

While it might be a good place to catch some fish, the swift water continues to remain a risk.

“This won’t be over immediately,” Horton said. “It’s going to take several days for it to go down and several days before it’s safe.”

Water has buried playground equipment at Bisset Park in Radford and it, along with the trails along the river will remain closed for the next few days.

Horton said he hasn’t seen the water this high near the dog park since the February 2013 floods.

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