Water, water everywhere...are you prepared?
Boats, pumps, dive teams, generators...what is your dept. ready with?
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The remnants of Tropical Storm Gaston
battered parts of Virginia with torrential rain Monday, sending
cars floating down streets and stranding people in downtown
Gov. Mark R. Warner declared a state of emergency due to
flooding in central Virginia, making state resources available and
putting the Virginia National Guard on standby.
"It looks like rapids outside our building," said Nick
Baughan, who was stranded with about 20 other people on the second
floor of the Bottoms Up pizza restaurant in Richmond. "All of our
cars have floated away."
The first floor was under 10 to 12 feet of water, Baughan said.
About 11 inches of rain fell in Richmond, causing cars to float
down flooded streets and ram into the restaurant and other
buildings in the Shockoe Bottom district, a popular entertainment
"We had a side shed attached to the building. It's not attached
anymore," Baughan said.
Fourteen rescues of people stranded in buildings or cars were
pending Monday night, police spokeswoman Cynthia Price said. A
stretch of Interstate 95 was closed and many streets were
impassable, creating traffic jams that lasted from rush hour until
well into the night.
"As you can imagine, with all the gridlock we're having a hard
time getting where we need to be," Price said.
She said two emergency shelters were opened. No injuries were
The downpour flooded the state's emergency operations center,
sending officials scrambling to protect computers and other
electronic equipment after more than 4 inches of water covered the
Richmond police appealed to residents to call 911 only in
life-threatening situations after authorities were swamped with
calls seeking information on how to navigate flooded and
Keith Lynch, of the National Weather Service office in
Wakefield, said he received reports of possible tornadoes touching
down in James City and Yorktown. Lynch said officials will visit
the sites Tuesday to verify if tornadoes hit.
James City County Deputy Fire Chief Tal Luton said he saw two
twisters but described damage as "fairly light."
Bob Spieldenner, spokesman for the state Department of Emergency
Management, said four homes were damaged by high wind in Poquoson.
About 82,000 Dominion Virginia Power customers in the Richmond
area and southeastern Virginia were without service Monday night.
Farther south, residents and officials in the Carolinas on
Monday were cleaning up from Gaston - and keeping their eyes on
At 8 p.m. EDT Monday, Frances was centered about 190 miles
east-northeast of the northern Leeward Islands and was moving west
at about 14 mph.
While Gaston caused some problems, "it's not the kind of
catastrophic damage we see in a major hurricane," South Carolina
Gov. Mark Sanford said. He urged coastal residents to monitor
Frances, which had 125 mph winds but is still days away from the
Gaston, which came ashore Sunday just under hurricane strength
with winds of 70 mph, brought rains estimated at 13 inches in
places in South Carolina.
The storm flooded areas already saturated by Hurricane Charley
earlier this month and cut power to 172,000 electric customers in
the state. Fewer than 29,000 customers remained without power
In Berkeley County, where damage from Gaston was severe, 10
houses were completely flooded and more than two dozen people had
to be rescued from flood waters, said Jim Rozier, a county
"It just seemed to rain forever," he said.
The storm ensured that this would be the wettest summer on
record in some communities. Richmond has received more than 30
inches of rain since June 1, breaking the June-through-August
record of 27.57 inches recorded in 1969.
On the Net:
National Hurricane Center: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov
(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
What a Difference..............
A few miles one way or the other makes a BIG difference sometimes. My Daughter lives in Fredericksburg Va. The heaviest rain totals in the Richmond area were in Hanover County where over 13 inches were recorded. She's 35 miles North of Hanover, and only got 1.3 inches at her home. I'm 80 miles North of Hanover, in Maryland, and we got absolutely zilch. No rain at all. There has been little to no rain here for 2 weeks now, it's finally starting to look like late summer. If the trend continues, could be some Fires this fall......