Rivers flooding towns to the east of Richmond

2nd street towards Kirby in West Point. Credit: Kara Jackson
2nd street towards Kirby in West Point. Credit: Kara Jackson

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

WEST POINT, VA (WWBT) - Several rivers in the areas east of Richmond near the York River are overflowing their banks, leaving homes surrounded by water. This as neighbors are pulling together to watch the homes of people from Richmond and beyond who can not make it down east this week. 

The water simply didn't stop coming. It just keeps on creeping up, surrounding the homes, Iincluding the home of Richmonder Chris Townsend.

We couldn't even make our way over to interview him.
"When we went to bed, everything was fine. But, now, it's like we're on a boat," says Chris.

Things were getting so bad, he had to brave the rising water surrounding his dock, "putting the boat up, taking all the electronics off. I think we're going to try to get out of here."

On top of that, the entire community here is checking on their neighbors' homes; people back in Richmond and beyond who just can't make it down here.
"We're just watching their boat. There's an elderly neighbor. We're keeping an eye on their house," says Brian Heid, whose home we could not get to either to interview him.  
The big concern is that the water will continue to rise, especially tonight at the next high tide.
Once the storm passes, the big problem now is cleaning up this mess. That'll include picking up the bottles and sweeping up. It's a lot of work that needs to be done in the coming days.
Here's why: the rivers are literally not stopping, docks are underwater, boats tied up and debris is everywhere. The wind is tossing things all over the ground.

It's the heart of the storm for Harry Whitt and his neighbors, including some who just couldn't make it down.

"It's old hat for people that don't have to put up with it. Those of us who have to put up with it, it's always an adventure and you never get too used to it," says Harry.
The unknown is just how high the water will get and the damage it'll bring.
"It's just a pain. You know, you got to pick up, clean up," says Harry. 
Not only his yard, but others as well.
"It's a big inconvenience right now, but it's not like we're losing property," says Brian.

It's the property of others that floats in the water, turning streets into lakes, trapping Chris.

"It's just mother nature. You can't control it. It's just rolling with the tide," adds Chris. 

A tide, that everyone here is hoping will soon turn, so the cleanup can begin. This, as they hope things don't get any worse.

"You have to clean up, clean the yard. But that's the price you have to pay for living on the river," Harry tells us. 

The clean up is something he's not looking forward to, "but it's something you just got to do. That's what the weekends are for."
One example of the clean up to come is logs from Chris' dock, that are floating about 40 yards away from his home.
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