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Flooding in the forecast; detours set to begin

South Boston News
The rising Dan in Riverdale / May 21, 2020
Torrential rains that have fallen this week are expected to submerge Riverdale by Friday, with flooding of the U.S. 58-501 intersection likely by Friday or Saturday.

As of Wednesday night, the National Weather Service was forecasting the Dan River at Riverdale would rise to nearly 31 feet above stage for most of the day on Saturday. The expected crest of 30.9 feet Saturday at 8 a.m. would exceed the highwater mark of an early February flood that drowned the busy 58-501 intersection and caught Riverdale merchants off guard with its severity.

That flood, the highest ever recorded in wintertime, crested at 30.56 feet above stage on Feb. 9.

On Thursday, VDOT issued a warning that the 58-501 intersection and Leggett's Bottom on U.S. 58 could go underwater as soon as Friday morning, which would necessitate long detours traveling between South Boston and Danville.

The National Weather Service in Blacksburg has reported daily rainfall totals of up to five inches in local areas of the region since the storm began to rage Monday afternoon. It is forecast to hang around until Friday morning. “A firehose of moisture that just won’t shut off across the Roanoke and New River Valleys,” the NWS Blacksburg staff offered on Twitter Wednesday.

Along with flooding of rivers and tributaries, the weather service is warning of trees toppling due to saturated ground. VDOT also is warning motorists to be aware of the danger of trees crashing down on area roadways.

VDOT also urges motorists never to drive over flooded pavement, which can give way under the weight of vehicles without warning.

Rainfall of two-four inches is forecast for today before tailing off Friday. By Sunday, floodwaters on the Dan and Staunton Rivers should subside.

VDOT has outlined the detour routes that will be open if the Dan overruns U.S. 58 at Riverdale and at Leggett's Bottom:

The US 501/58 detour is, from the east:

-- From US 58,Philpott Road turn right onto Route 658, Turbeville Road

-- Continue on Route 658, turns into Cluster Springs Road

-- Turn left onto US 501, Huell Matthews Hwy

-- Turn right onto Route 744, E Hyco Road

-- Turn left onto Route 743, Ponderosa Road

-- Turn right onto Route 742, Alphonse Dairy Road and

-- Turn right onto US 58, Bill Tuck Highway

From the west:

-- From US 58, turn right onto Route 743, Ponderosa Road

-- Turn right onto Route 744, E Hyco Road

-- Left onto US 501, Huell Matthews Highway

-- Turn right onto Route 658, Cluster Springs Road

-- Turn right onto Route 708, Cedar Grove Road and

-- Turn left onto US 58, Philpott Road

The US 58/360 at Leggett’s Bottom detour is, from the east:

-- Turn right on Route 62 and continue to Route 57

-- Turn left onto Route 119

-- Turn right onto US 58/360

From the west:

-- Turn left onto Route 119

-- Turn right onto Route 57 and continue to Route 62

-- Turn left onto Route 58/360

Updates will be available on the Lynchburg District’s Twitter account @VaDOTLynchburg and on 511.

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