Parts of metro Richmond are paralyzed this morning following the remnants of Gaston. 8News has confirmed at least 3 area people have died and up to 8 people are missing. One of the worst areas hit is Richmond's Shockoe Bottom.
At the height of the storm our newsroom was flooded with calls from people trapped inside restaurants and businesses in Shockoe Bottom and Downtown Richmond. Boats had to be brought in to rescue people.
We've also been monitoring a dangerous situation in Chesterfield County throughout the night. There's concern for the Falling Creek Dam. Residents in that area were forced to evacuate last night. Numerous people had to be rescued.
Right down from the Falling Creek Apartments there was another rescue. A family had to be pulled from raging waters. Chesterfield SCUBA rescue team rescued 3 people that were clinging to a tree. They tried to cross in their van and water swept it away. They had been in the water for 4 hours.
"They water was moving kind of swift. I'm surprised they held on, being as young as they are. That's what kept them out there as long as they did. We're excited this turned out as well as it did," said Lieutenant Bobby Burnett of the Chesterfield Fire Department.
"Anytime we put our divers in water like this, in swift waters like this, it is a hazard. We've got a lot of trees down below so it's real easy for our divers to be washed underneath it and get pinned," Burnett added.
In Henrico County numerous cars became stranded in the Bloomingdale and Dumbarton area. Water came up over the top of several cars and dive crews had to free motorists trapped inside. Henrico Fire crews tell us they arrived on scene to find 5 people in their vehicles and several others trapped inside their homes. We're told it took several hours to rescue all the victims due to the strict safety measures crews had to follow.