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Storm brings funnel cloud near South Hill
SoVaNow.com / April 23, 2017Recent erratic weather continued over the weekend as a severe thunderstorm watch on Saturday was cancelled only to give way to a flood watch for northern North Carolina and southern Virginia, including Halifax County, through the first part of the week.
Many Halifax County residents heard the blare of emergency sirens Saturday around 3 p.m. as the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm watch for 11 southern Virginia counties and areas of central and northern North Carolina. The thunderstorm watch was accompanied by several tornado warnings, including in the Hitesburg and Clay Mill areas of Halifax County, although there were no immediate reports of sightings.
According to Emergency Services coordinator Chad Loftis, winds from the storm tear off the roof of a shed located in the county, but further details were not available at press time.
Around 7 p.m. Saturday, the NWS cancelled the thunderstorm watch for the region.
In the Union Level area of Mecklenburg County, a short distance west of South Hill, residents reported a funnel cloud hovering overhead Saturday afternoon around 4 o’clock. One eyewitness, Scott Mills of Mills Farm Inc., said the storm also dropped hail at his doorstep, although there were no signs of damage from the wind funnel “other than leaves and twigs blown on the road.”
As the thunderstorms passed, a new threat emerged: the possibility of flooding from up to six inches of rainfall that were predicted to fall over the weekend.
Storm rainfall amounts were expected to range between 3-5 inches, with as much as 6 inches possible in some areas, according to the weather service.
The rainy weather is expected to last through Monday evening, with rainfall amounts of up to 1.5 inches through the day. “The duration and widespread nature of the heavy rainfall is expected to result in rises and potential flooding on area streams, while flooding may also be possible along some main stem rivers on Monday or Tuesday,” according to the weather service.
The NWS also warned of flash flooding along small streams in the region. A flood watch means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts.
Meantime, storm watchers were keeping close tabs on the floodwater forecast for Riverdale. As of Sunday night, NOAA projected the Dan River in South Boston would crest at 24.6 feet above stage, just short of the 25-foot level for moderate flooding.
The crest is expected around mid-day Wednesday, with minor flooding expected to begin early Monday morning.
The Dan must reach 27 feet above flood stage to approach Route 501, and 29 feet above to affect Riverdale businesses.
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