FLOODING THREAT: Because the ground is already saturated in many areas, creeks and rivers remain high and some drains can fill up fast and overflow. Please stay alert, pay attention to all warnings. Use caution especially at night. Remember water can rise quickly, never attempt to drive through a road covered in water. By Sunday morning, additional rainfall 0.50″-1.50″ with a few locally higher totals.
SATURDAY: Warm and muggy with temperatures in the 70s throughout the day. With an area of low pressure nearby, this will lead to waves of rain through the day. Scattered showers on and off. There will be breaks at times. Locally heavy rainfall at times. Flooding is possible especially Saturday evening. Stay alert.
Cloudy with pockets of heavy rain at times Saturday evening. A few rumbles of thunder. Overnight lows Saturday night will be in the low mid 60s with low visibility.
SUNDAY: Cloudy in the morning with temperatures in the upper 60s and showers mainly early. The low looks to move out around mid-day. This would lead to a few spotty showers for the afternoon but most of the activity tapering off. Staying cloudy with highs in the low to mid 70s. Humidity starts to drop for Sunday.
The Sipe Center in Bridgewater recently reopened its movie theater at limited capacity but made the decision to cancel all live performances for the remainder of 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Aug. 11, the performing arts center received a permit from the Bridgewater Town Council approving the use of an ABC permit.
All of 2020′s live performances have been rescheduled for 2021, and now guests will be able to enjoy beer and wine at those events.
Megan Byler, the Assistant Town Manager for Public Works, said there will be a two-drink per person restriction, but they hope this will make up for some losses in 2020.
“Our concession revenue is decent during our movie showtimes, but it is not nearly up to par during our live performances, so adding the option for beer and wine consumption we think will certainly increase our concession revenue,” Byler said.
She said this permit only applies to live events. No alcohol will be permitted at movie showtimes.
Byler said canceling Sipe Center live performances for the rest of the year was disappointing, but the staff is eagerly awaiting its reopening in 2021.
Gift and Thrift in Harrisonburg received a frantic phone call from one woman earlier this week asking for help finding her cat, Brody.
Hours after dropping off donations at the thrift store, Pat Byrd, Brody’s owner, said she couldn’t find Brody anywhere, and she was certain that the curious cat climbed into one of the donation bags she had dropped off earlier Tuesday morning.
“We know that Brody likes to hide, but never thought that he would get in the bag,” Bryd said. “I just started crying and said I have to call Gift and Thrift. They were so gracious.”
Sue Nelson, the executive director of Gift and Thrift, said after speaking with Bryd, staff members got to work searching through Tuesday’s donations.
“We had to receive probably about 15 gaylords of donations [on Tuesday],” Nelson said. “We just started pulling them down one by one, and four or five [staff members] just kept pulling things off the top.”
Nelson said Brody didn’t make a peep while they were searching, but finally, after searching through nearly ten donation bins, “a miracle.” Staff members found the missing cat.
“You can’t believe the way we felt when we got that call saying, ‘We have Brody, Brody is alive, and he’s okay.’ It was from one end of the spectrum to being just heartbroken to the other end of just couldn’t believe it,” Bryd said.
After hours in the bin and many items placed on top of Bryd’s donation bags, the Bryd family and Gift and Thrift staff members weren’t sure what they would find, but Bryd said her prayers were answered.
Pat and Irv Bryd said after Brody’s Gift and Thrift adventure, they will now double-check every bag that leaves their house.
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, absentee ballots are becoming a common trend.
The Virginia Department of Elections allows voters to cast their ballot by mail or email, just by registering on their website.
In Staunton, Molly Goldsmith of the registrar’s office says you can now track where your ballot is with their electronic status updates.
“You can check the box if you want to receive emails or text messages about your ballot’s status,” Goldsmith said. “You can submit that and that way you will receive notification about where your ballot is every time it’s scanned by the post office.”
You can begin voting by mail 45 days before Election Day.
In just a few days, James Madison University will be welcoming back freshmen and upperclassmen to campus.
Caitlyn Read is the spokesperson for the university.
“Our enrollment numbers have been very positive. We have every reason to expect a strong and vibrant first-year class as well as returning students. And so we anticipate numbers to be very similar to last year at close to about 22,000,” Read said.
Freshman will begin move-in on August 21st and will be given time slots to move in.
The university plans to have on-campus testing for students and faculty.
“Students who need to be tested can seek testing at the health center, and there will be testing. And what is new, is for those employees who need testing, they can also contact the health center,” Read said.
There will be isolation spaces on campus for students and if students live off-campus they are asked to isolate at home if possible or to contact the health center to coordinate another plan. Students in isolation would be given access to food and access to learning to keep up with their studies.
In the event of illness, the school has been working with the surrounding areas.
“One thing we look at very carefully and we work with the hospital on this is bed capacity. So making sure that our local health care system can accommodate any sort of outbreak,” Read said.
Students have signed a student agreement to maintain safety measures, such as wearing a mask, and non-compliance could result in disciplinary action.
“The first layer of that is students holding themselves accountable and understanding that their decisions have wide-ranging impacts and it’s bigger than just any one individual,” Read said.
Students both on and off campus are asked to keep groups to less than 10 people.
“The expectation is 10 or less. For those students who live on-campus, violating that could result in the termination of their housing contract, and so it’s something we take very seriously,” Read said.
With that, the city of Harrisonburg just passed an ordinance that limits gatherings to less than 50 people.
There will be breaks in the class schedule during the day to account for cleaning and for classes where class size does not allow for social distancing, online or hybrid methods may be used. Spaces like gyms and auditoriums will also be utilized as classrooms to allow for distancing.
The university is working with students, faculty, and staff on a case by case basis if they need or prefer online accommodations.
The school will be monitoring conditions throughout the semester and following any orders given by the governor. They will follow bed capacity at local health care providers, prevalence of COVID-19 in the community, and isolation space availability and take that information into account if the need arises to revert back to online learning.
Read says the university is excited to have students returning.
After dropping off donations at the thrift store the cat's owner said she couldn’t find Brody anywhere, and she was certain that the curious cat climbed into one of the donation bags she had dropped off earlier Tuesday morning.
The owner of The Vinyl Asylum in downtown Staunton helped provide sandbags for Staunton residents and business owners. Tanya Koogler managed to donate more than 18 tons of sand to protect homes and shops from the next rainfall.
“It’s so devastating and so many people, I don’t know, I have always been the person to make sure everyone is taken care of,” Koogler said.
Business owners, community leaders and other people came out to the Wharf to help pack the sandbags. Staunton locals Kelly and Kainoa Peters said they came out to support because if they needed help, they hope others would do the same for them.
“We’ve only got one community and the small businesses, there is only one of them so we need to protect them while we still can,” Kainoa said.
The mayor of Staunton also stopped by to thank volunteers and said if you need help, to reach out to the city.
“If we cannot help you, we will point you in the direction to receive some help,” Mayor Andrea Oakes said.
The mayor also encouraged community members to check on their neighbors, have an emergency kit, fresh water and non-perishable food items.
“This has just been the worst flooding I’ve ever seen in Staunton. And to have it just back to back and looking at it a third time, it’s very concerning,” Mayor Oakes said.
Mayor Oakes also mentioned that the city will be focusing on keeping the drainage systems are clear to withstand the heavy flooding.