Floods close roads in Floyd County, along with schools

The flooding Little River at Spangler Mill Road in Floyd County in a previous flood.
The flooding Little River at Spangler Mill Road in Floyd County Monday.

Part of Spangler Mill Road NE remained closed Monday as water from the overflowing Little River swept over a bridge and the secondary passage near Moore Road in Floyd County.

As the river began to ebb after a day and night of hard rain and wind on Sunday and overnight into Monday, other roads had partial or full flooding.

Road passages and safety concerns kept Floyd County schools closed Tuesday, along with those in Pulaski County.  Montgomery County is on a two-hour delay along with Giles.  Franklin County’s delay is one hour.

On another part of Spangler Mill, chucks of the highway fell into a culvert washing out by the storm.  A passerby put out large rocks to mark the spot to help motorist avoid what was becoming a large sink hole.

Part of Spangler Mill Road NE washed out by the raging waters.

Overall, Floyd County and most of Southwestern Virginia were lucky.  A tornado that struck Richmond killed one person and injured another, part of a death toll that numbers at least 32 from Hurricane Florence’s path of destruction and horror in the Carolinas and elsewhere.

North Carolina alone has more than 1,500 closed and impassable roads.  Parts of Interstates 40 and 95 remain blocked in several places. Wilmington is a closed off town.  Electricity is off for several one thousand utility customers and many schools may not reopen for weeks.

“Catastrophic flooding and tornadoes are still claiming lives and property. For most parts of North Carolina, the danger is still immediate,” Gov. Roy Cooper told a news conference Monday. “I urge you, if you don’t have to drive, stay off the road.”

Environmental problems affect the state, including a manure lagoon breached by the raging waters.

“We do have observed releases of wastewater from manholes, from overtopped sewer areas in the impacted zone,” Reggie Cheatham, the Environmental Protection Agency’s director of emergency management, told reporters in a teleconference call.  “(Water treatment facilities) basically had to deal with the storm surge, loss of power, and obviously shut down pumps, and the system completely depressurized, and they haven’t been able to bring them back up.”

South of Charlotte Sunday, a CSX train hauling hazardous chemicals detailed when it hit washed out tracks.

The hardest hit region of North Carolina faces a loss of at least $22 billion, most that from property losses.

In Floyd County, the property losses are smaller but still could strain a government budget that only has a $200,000 contingency fund.  On Monday, county board of supervisors chairman Lauren Yoder, Floyd town mayor Will Griffin and sheriff Brian Craig toured the flood and damage.

The sun came out over Little River flooding Monday afternoon.

Light rains forecast for Tuesday morning are expected to fade into sunny days and high temperatures in the 80s through the end of the week.

A flooding river draw a crowd.


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© 2021 Blue Ridge Muse