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The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for much of Southside and southwest Virginia that covers three days — starting Sataurday morning and running through Monday evening. The watch area includes Roanoke, Franklin and Montgomery Counties. The weather service says four to eight inches of rain are likely in coming days, and locally higher amounts of 10 inches are possible along the Blue Ridge. The weather service says moderate to perhaps major flooding is possible along rivers that include the New and Roanoke.

From the National Weather Service: Hurricane Florence will slowly track inland this afternoon and into South Carolina tonight into Saturday, before turning northwest across the southern Appalachians Sunday, and heading into the central Appalachians Monday. With soils saturated or becoming saturated, the threat of flash flooding is likely to develop later this weekend into Monday.

FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY MORNING THROUGH MONDAY EVENING

The National Weather Service in Blacksburg has expanded the

* Flash Flood Watch to include portions of south central Virginia, southwest Virginia, and west central Virginia, including the following areas, in south central Virginia, Halifax, Henry, and Pittsylvania. In southwest Virginia, Montgomery, Pulaski, Smyth, and Wythe. In west central Virginia, Franklin and Roanoke.

* From Saturday morning through Monday evening.

* Heavy rain from Florence will lead to flash flooding across the area, especially by Saturday afternoon and evening into Monday. 4 to 8 inches of rain are expected, with locally higher amounts of 10 inches or more possible along the Blue Ridge.

* Life-threatening flash flooding may develop as heavy rain bands occur this weekend into Monday. Streams and creeks may rise quickly during heavy rain and flood.

* As the excessive rainfall occurs across the headwaters of the larger rivers, moderate to perhaps major flooding could occur especially along the New, Roanoke and Dan Rivers Sunday night into early next week.

* Rainfall of more than five inches in similar storms has been associated with an increased risk of landslides and rock slides. If you live in locations closer to the mountains and foothills…especially near a stream…be ready to leave in advance of the storm or as quickly as possible should rising water…moving earth…or rocks threaten. Consider postponing travel along mountain roads during the period of heavy rainfall.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION. Remember…TURN AROUND…DON`T DROWN!

You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.