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Flooding buckles roads, swells lake after downpour

SoVaNow.com / June 24, 2020
Two days of torrential rains last week caused heavy flooding, road closures and collapsing roadways in at least two locations, one near Clarksville and another in Chase City.

Rain totals near Clarksville topped five inches by Wednesday evening, according to the National Weather Service in Wakefield. Rainfall amounts were closer to three inches around Chase City and South Hill. That was on top of heavy rainfall Tuesday.

Floodwaters once again forced the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to close boat ramps around Buggs Island Lake, and the Town of Clarksville closed off access to the town dock. Thomas Coleman, a Corps ranger, said boat ramps at Bluestone, Buffalo Park, Eagle Point, Eastland Creek and Rudd’s Creek were closed through the weekend since the lake was not expected to peak until Saturday.

By early Friday, the lake level had shot up to 309.09 feet. That was before the afternoon deluge and before the rains predicted for Friday evening. By Tuesday, June 23, water levels had settled at 311 feet after rising to as high as 315 feet lake earlier. Kerr Reservoir is considered to be at full pool at 300 feet and at flood stage at 320 feet.

Following Wednesday’s downpour, Chase City Town Manager Dusty Forbes posted a message on social media telling residents, “we have closed Endly Street from Second to Sycamore streets due to flood damage causing the road to collapse.” He said he hoped to have the road fixed no later than Tuesday, June 23. He also warned travelers to “be careful around creeks and culverts” due to high water.

Lakefront Road, which serves as the only access for homeowners living in the Bluestone Forest, Mooresville Estates and Browns Mill subdivisions near Clarksville, washed out Tuesday for the second time in two years, stranding residents. By Thursday crews with Red Oak Excavating laid a temporary bridge at the site of the collapsed road and were preparing to begin major repairs.

“We are experiencing some localized flooding throughout South Hill. Please drive safe and remember, when roads are flooded turn around don’t drown,” was the warning issued by South Hill Police Chief Stuart Bowen to residents of the east end of the county as flood waters inundated a number of streets in South Hill.

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