‘It’s Devastating’: Water Rises In Valley

No Injuries Reported; Rescue Calls Fizzle Out

Posted: July 13, 2013

A man jogs Friday morning on Honey Run Road, parts of which were washed out from floodwaters near Clover Hill. Storms brought up to 5 inches of rain in parts of Rockingham County.
Kalaena Robison of Harrisonburg snaps a photo Friday morning of flooded Monger Park at the confluence of Cooks Creek and Blacks Run.
Cars splash along West Dry River Road on Friday, avoiding the deepest water from overnight flooding in Rockingham County.
Floodwaters from Honey Run washed away part of a bridge on Honey Run Road in Rockingham County.
Grace Glenn of Broadway (second from right) escorts her nieces visiting from Indiana (left to right) Alicia Pletcher, 15, Abigail Pletcher, 6, and Sabrina Pletcher, 12, over Slab Road on Friday as Dry River’s floodwaters wash over it. (Photos by Nikki Fox / DN-R)
MOUNT CRAWFORD — Julie Propst stood in the gravel parking lot of Monger Park in Mount Crawford Friday morning, snapping pictures of flooding that turned a baseball field into a lake.

A strong storm dumped several inches of rain on the Shenandoah Valley late Thursday night and Friday morning, causing severe flooding in many areas.

Several people who stopped to take pictures of the baseball field said water was as high as the roughly 5-foot outfield fence at one point. The park is located near where Cooks Creek and Blacks Run merge.

“It’s terrible …  it’s devastating,” said Propst, who has volunteered for the Mount Crawford Little League for the past decade. “I haven’t seen it this bad.”

By late afternoon, much of the water had subsided.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Rockingham County before the rain started to fall late Thursday. In some areas, residents reported 4 to 5 inches of rain on Friday.

The Dale Enterprise Weather Station reported 5.35 inches of rain.

And more may be on the way. With additional rain predicted for late Friday and this morning, emergency crews expected additional flooding overnight. Crews were especially concerned with the South Fork of the Shenandoah River near Lynnwood. As of Friday afternoon, the river level was almost 13 feet. Flood stage is considered 16 feet. County officials expected the river to crest at or above flood stage sometime Friday night or this morning.

Jeremy Holloway, chief of Rockingham County Fire and Rescue, said most of the flooding problems from Thursday’s and Friday morning’s rains were in the western part of the county, including Bridgewater, Clover Hill and Ottobine.

Despite the flash flooding, he said no weather-related injuries were reported Friday, despite calls for at least two water rescues. He said the swift-water rescue team was dispatched twice overnight. The team was dispatched to Waggys Creek and Spring Creek roads for motorists trapped in high water on the roadways. However, he said, rescues weren’t needed by the time crews arrived. One person made it to safety and, in the other case, rescuers found the vehicle was gone.

“There was nothing major,” Holloway said. “It was good that it happened in the middle of the night when there wasn’t much traffic.”

Assistant Chief Ian Bennett of the Harrisonburg Fire Department said city firefighters were busy, too, overnight, but no injuries were reported.

He said firefighters were dispatched to 12 homes with flooded basements. In some cases, firefighters provided loaner pumps to homeowners to remove the water.

Contact Pete DeLea at 574-6278 or pdelea@dnronline.com

NDN Video News