Staunton recovering after major flooding on Saturday night

 Staunton recovering after major flooding on Saturday night
The City of Staunton is recovering after major flash flooding on Saturday night. (Source: WHSV)

STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - The City of Staunton is recovering after major flash flooding on Saturday night.

Across the city, several businesses, homes and vehicles sustained damage. Some roads and sidewalks were closed temporarily. Crews continue to work to clean-up damage.

Drivers and pedestrians are encouraged to be observant of areas still impacted by high water or debris and be careful while traveling.

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“Well, in some areas, it looks like a war zone,” Staunton Mayor Andrea Oakes told WHSV on Sunday afternoon. “This is the worst as far as flooding I’ve ever seen in Staunton, especially in downtown Staunton.”

Oakes described the damage at some buildings as horrific. She said some downtown establishments had flooding in their basements and their first floors.

Throughout the Queen City, businesses and homeowners are cleaning up the debris. First responders and crews from Public Works are conducting an assessment for safety purposes and to collect data for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management in order to develop a request for financial assistance.

Storm clean-up

According to the city, the Augusta Regional Landfill, which is normally closed on Sundays, will be open for disposal through 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Oakes said homeowners who experienced flood damage and carry flood insurance should report it. She also suggested contacting homeowner’s insurance just in case since some carry limited flood insurance. Oakes said if you’re in need of help to reach out to neighbors, non-profit organizations and churches.

“I’ve been so impressed by how all of our Stauntonians have just reached out to help one another,” Oakes said.

Water rescues

Oakes said she heard of a handful of water rescues from vehicles on Saturday night when some drivers drove into heavy rain and ended up in a flooded area. Some had to be extracted from their vehicles and Oakes said several vehicles were abandoned.

Oakes told WHSV from what she heard, everybody has been okay and there were no major injuries to report.

The City of Staunton has scheduled special trash collection beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday which will focus on those areas of downtown which experienced the worst flooding. Curbside trash collection will be provided along Lewis, Central and Augusta streets between Churchville Avenue and Johnson Street; along Beverley Street between Lewis and Market streets; and on Byers Street.

For more information about the city’s initial flood response, click here.

Citizens are reminded to call 540.332.3845 for non-emergency police response and to call 911 for an immediate emergency response.

Vehicle owners are strongly encouraged to remove vehicles that are blocking streets or sidewalks or other public areas as quickly as possible to facilitate flood recovery and cleanup efforts. The city plans to announce a deadline for voluntary vehicle removal, after which the city will make arrangements to remove vehicles.

Dine Out in Downtown suspended

According to the city, Dine Out in Downtown has been suspended to allow the city and businesses to focus on flood response and recovery.

Staying safe

Oakes encourages those helping to continue to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines.

“First we have a pandemic and now we have a flood and we want everyone to stay as safe as possible,” Oakes said.

The city says those responding to help should continue to wear face coverings and physical distancing as the flood efforts and recovery efforts continue.

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