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Flash flooding prompts water rescues, I-95 closure in Richmond

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 4:15 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2021 at 11:19 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Richmond Fire Department responded to multiple calls for water rescues and vehicles trapped in high water.

A Flash Flood Warning was issued for Richmond and Henrico Thursday afternoon.

Major flooding on Interstate 95 at Belvidere caused traffic to be diverted due to flooding. Police said several vehicles were stranded. All lanes have since reopened.

Viewer video showed water spilling over the jersey wall. At the time, there was a four-mile backup.

Richmond Fire crews helped get one person out of a car at Cumberland Street and South Harrison Street.

RFD crews also helped a person from a pickup truck that got stuck on train tracks at Brook Road. Crews spoke with CSX to stop train traffic as they worked to get the truck off the tracks.

In total, RFD crews responded to eight calls of high water calls.

RFD crews also helped a person from a pickup truck that got stuck on train tracks at Brook Road.
RFD crews also helped a person from a pickup truck that got stuck on train tracks at Brook Road.(NBC12)

Viewer video from the dam at Bryan Park shows it being overrun. This is the path that’s not too far from the picnic pavilion near Bryan Park Avenue.

A person appeared to be swimming in the floodwater at Grace and Harrison streets in Richmond near the Village Cafe.

The Cafe’s owner, Josh Rueger, said this is the worst flooding he’s seen in 10 years. He said he had to temporarily close his business so he could pump water outside of his store.

“The whole place had several inches of water in it. The water was about up to here, and was about 24 inches up,” Ruger said. “We keep sandbags here, but it happened so quickly we weren’t able to get them out.”

Other restaurants, like Red Eye Cookie on North Harrison Street, had to improvise sacks of flour as sandbags to keep more water from rushing in. On top of the mounds of flour owner Brayden Pleasants is shoveling, his store had about two inches of standing water.

“Luckily, it didn’t get up to the condensers on refrigeration or electrical. All the staff is safe, we’ve got cleaner floors than before, and we’ll be back to making cookies,” said Pleasants.

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