James River may rise above ‘flood stage’ Memorial Day weekend

Local News

RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — The James River may rise above its ‘flood stage’ Memorial Day weekend, as people are expected to venture outdoors for the unofficial start to summer.

The National Weather Service says they predict the river surrounding the Huguenot Bridge will crest up to 13.3 feet on Saturday, days after parts of southwest Virginia experienced continuous rainfall. NWS says the flood stage is 12 feet.

The Roanoke area experienced a mudslide, pooled backyards and drivers veered through standing water Thursday.

PHOTOS/VIDEOS: Flash flooding hits southwest Virginia, causing road closures and swift water rescues

In anticipation of the expected water surge, James River Pak System Superintendent Bryce Wilk says “there will be unforeseen dangers underneath the murky water,” and recommends people stay away from its banks.

“There are some steep cliffs, and some vegetation covers up certain holes,” Wilk said.

Although crowds are likely to be smaller than Memorial Day gatherings in the past, as a result of Governor Ralph Northam’s executive order limiting gatherings to less than 10 people, Wilk asked people to use their best judgment following the local rainfall.

“These are times where you should not be swimming in the river,” Wilk said. “It is dangerous for you and for young ones, old ones, anyone in between.”

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