Rain floods roads across Central Virginia after more heavy rain; drivers rescued

Updated: Aug. 7, 2020 at 6:56 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - When it rains it floods, at least for those in many parts of Richmond.

Downpours caused a portion of Fairfield Avenue under the Interstate 64 overpass to flood Thursday evening. A car underestimated the power of the water and got stuck.

“This happens every time there’s flooding in the area,” Violet Mensah said.

Mensah says between the low area, hidden creek and water running from the highway - it makes it a prime spot for flooding.

“I must say we are ready,” a Department of Public Works spokesman said Monday ahead of Tropical Storm Isaias.

Friday, NBC12 reporter Eric Perry found trash and debris blocking several drains.

Attallah Mahascs owns Market Place 14 near Mosby Court and said the storm drains can’t handle all the water.

“It’s overloaded. You have the water coming here from all of the roads, and we are here in the bottom of the hill,” Mahascs said.

“People think their cars are part boat and it’s not,” Anthony Smith said.

Smith was driving near Magnolia Street when he saw a man drive into the rising water.

“The car started to float with him in the car. The water was coming up pretty quick, was coming up pretty fast.” Smith said. “We had to figure out how to get this gentleman out of the car.”

Those watching sprang into action.

“What we ended up doing. Myself and others standing by, we tried to grab cables to walk on the side in order to get to him,” Smith said.

Police arrived and rescued the man just in time.

“As soon as they got him out of the car - totally submerged in the water,” Smith said.

“Just imagine if he had kids or someone in the car and they couldn’t get them out in time,” Smith said.

The Department of Public Utilities released the following statement in regards to the recent flooding:

Flooding can generally be expected whenever there is a high intensity rain event such as Tropical Storm Isaias. Typically time is what is needed during these events to allow the water to subside after heavy rainfall ceases. For this reason, travelers should especially avoid any low lying areas and be cautious in all inclement conditions.

Specific factors that can lead to flooding are listed here: http://www.richmondgov.com/PublicUtilities/floodplain.aspx . While rain events are out of our control, we can prepare in anticipation of them and do our best to mitigate impacts. As DPU Director Calvin Farr spoke to at the Mayor’s press briefing on Monday, DPU was actively cleaning storm drains in areas prone to flooding last week and was prepared to respond to flooded inlets or drains.

We also encourage residents and businesses to assist by keeping drains free of debris such as trash, sediment, cigarette butts, leaves and lawn clippings. Inlets full of trash reduces their capacity to take the stormwater away and can cause flooding, driving hazards and property damage even during small rain events.

Meanwhile, in Chesterfield County, VDOT enacted a ‘local emergency’ due to so many flood-damaged roads. VDOT was working to fix at least two of them on Friday. Crews were out at Fallow Drive and Rattlesnake Road working to shore things up.

Copyright 2020 WWBT. All rights reserved.

Submit a news tip.