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WORKING ITS WAY DOWNSTREAM

South Boston News
The Dan River inundated vast swaths of territory in southern Virginia and northern North Carolina over the weekend, with floodwaters continuing to drain into Kerr Reservoir this week and sending county roads and Corps recreational sites underwater. This aerial photo shows the swollen Dan upriver in Halifax County. (Contributed by Ryland Clark)
SoVaNow.com / February 12, 2020
Rains that pelted Southside Virginia late last week have caused water levels to rise significantly, inundating area roads and bridges. The Virginia Department of Transportation on Monday announced the closure of several roads in Mecklenburg County due to flooding.

They are: State Route 826 (Mill Creek Road), State Route 604 (W. Organsville Road), State Route 677 (Wilkerson Road), State Route (688 Skipwith Road) and State Route 609 (Trottinridge Road) near Clarksville, and State Route 693 (Rogers Road) near Boydton.

Kevin Smith of the VDOT South Hill Residency Office said creeks and streams near these roads have overflowed their banks and water levels are still rising. He said the data he’s reviewed show water levels peaking Tuesday or Wednesday, assuming no more rain fall occurs. However, the National Weather Service is predicting another 1.5 additional inches of rain for Mecklenburg County and points west over the next three days.

Smith said these roads will remain closed even after the water recedes until VDOT engineers have inspected bridges for structural damage. He did not say when area residents could expect the roads to reopen for traffic.

He also warned motorists not to drive around the barricades placed across roads due to the dangers associated with driving through high water.

Tasha Alexander, Assistant Project Manager for Kerr Lake Dam and Reservoir with the US Army Corps of Engineers, said high water levels have forced the closure of three boat ramps on the lake — at Buffalo Park, Bluestone Creek and Eastland Creek.

Boaters and residents seeking up-to-the-moment information about day use areas can call the USACE at (434) 738-6143 and choose the option for ramp closures.

As lake levels continue to rise, the Corps of Engineers confirmed on Tuesday that it will be releasing floodwaters from Kerr Reservoir. On Saturday when water levels reached around 307.8 feet, the Corps upped the flow through the dam from 14,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 25,000 cfs. As of Tuesday, releases at Kerr Dam were stepped up to 35,000 cfs, and that will continue for the next week, according to USACE spokesperson David Connolly.

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