James River level highest in almost 10 years

The river has reached moderate flood stage Monday afternoon and evening

James River highest it's been since 2010

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Significant rain last week is expected to cause the James River at Richmond to rise to the highest level above flood stage it has reached in almost 10 years.

The river is forecast to climb to 16.2 feet by Monday evening, which is considered moderate flood stage for the James River.

“It’s pretty impressive,” said David Hubbard. “It doesn’t happen that often.”

The last time the river reached this height was when it hit 18.1 feet on January 27, 2010.

The James River is the highest in almost 10 years.
The James River is the highest in almost 10 years.

The James flowed over its banks into low lying areas near Pony Pasture and Rocketts Landing.

The James River is at its highest level in almost 10 year, and it's causing quite a bit of damage and flooding at Rockett's Landing >> https://bit.ly/2NsT7FZ

Posted by NBC12 on Monday, February 25, 2019

“What stands out most to me is the Capital Trail being completely underwater from here at Rocketts Landing almost all the way up to Great Shiplock Park,” said Justin Doyle, Community Conservation Manager with the James River Association.

The high river left some bicyclists rerouting their paths and damaged a few docks.

“This is not the first time the marina has been damage in recent years, but this is pretty significant damage,” Doyle said.

While the Richmond area saw a little more than three inches of rainfall throughout February, rainfall in other parts of the state contributed to the high river level.

"The river basin goes all the way back to the Shenandoah Valley, the Blue Ridge Mountains,” said NBC12’s Nick Russo. “So all that water coming down out of the mountains at once is causing the river to rise pretty fast right now."

The highest water, also known as the “crest” of the river, will occur sometime Monday evening before 11 p.m.

A Flood Warning is in effect until Wednesday afternoon for the James River.
A Flood Warning is in effect until Wednesday afternoon for the James River.

Even with 2018 being the second wettest year on record in Richmond, the James didn't quite reach the level we saw Monday.

“It is surprising,” Doyle said. “We had a dozen crests last year alone and none of those crests reached the height that the river is today.”

A Flood Warning remains in effect for the James River until Wednesday afternoon when the river is expected to fall below minor flood stage.

If you go near the river to watch the high water, be careful not to get too close, and keep kids and pets away from the water too. High water can be enticing for kids and pets who can easily get swept away.

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