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MONDAY: The Roanoke River appears to be near its expected high point, and it is forecast to recede overnight and into tomorrow. The river is about a foot and a half above flood stage, causing flooding to parts of the greenway but at last report, not impacting any homes or businesses.
The Red Cross plans to close the Roanoke emergency shelter at the Berglund Center at noon Tuesday. 16 people were there at last report, and both the Red Cross and Roanoke Rescue Mission are prepared to offer services if needed.
The Roanoke Roanoke River appears to be near its expected high point, and it is forecast to recede overnight and into tomorrow. The river reached about a foot and a half above flood stage, causing flooding to parts of the greenway but at last report, not impacting any homes or businesses.
The National Weather Service has dramatically lowered its forecast for the New River in Radford. The latest projection calls for it to reach its high point early tomorrow about a half foot above flood stage. Earlier projections had called for the possibility of major flooding there.
Roanoke City officials continue to monitor the weather forecast and river levels. Officials say the City Fire Department still has two swift waster rescue teams on standby. They are telling residents to check the city’s website and social media for the most up to date information.
SUNDAY EVENING: The National Weather Service in Blacksburg has issued a Flash Flood Warning for Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Salem, Franklin County, northeastern Floyd County, Danville, Pittsylvania County, Martinsville, Henry County, and eastern Patrick County until 8:30 am Monday. A second Flash Flood Warning covers Montgomery County, Floyd County, Pulaski County and Radford until 9:30 am Monday.
SUNDAY AFTERNOON: The National Weather Service has issued a River Flood Warning for the Roanoke River at Roanoke until Tuesday afternoon. The weather service predicts minor flooding as the river rises close to one-and-a-half feed above flood stage Monday afternoon before receding below flood stage by early Tuesday morning. The only specifically-mentioned impact in the warning is for flooding along the Roanoke River Greenway.
From the National Weather Service: THE NWS in Blacksburg Va has issued a Flood Warning for the following rivers in Virginia: Roanoke River At Roanoke affecting Roanoke County, City of Roanoke and City of Salem. Rainfall from now Tropical Depression Florence both observed and forecast over the next 24 to 36 hours, will cause minor flooding along the Roanoke River mainly tomorrow and tomorrow night. This forecast is based heavily on additional forecast rainfall of 2 to 4 inches across the basin overnight and into tomorrow. If the rainfall exceeds this amount stages could be still higher or would be lower if the rain fails to reach expectations.
At 04PM Sunday the stage was 3.1 feet. Flood Stage is 10.0 feet. Minor flooding is forecast.
Forecast: Rise above flood stage by tomorrow afternoon and continue to rise to near 11.4 feet by tomorrow evening. The river will fall below flood stage by early Tuesday morning.
Impact: At 10.0 feet, Roanoke River Greenway path begins to flood along right bank.
SUNDAY MORNING: Forecasters expect the Roanoke River to reach its high point Monday evening right around the start of flood stage. It means that for now, only minor flooding is expected in the Roanoke Valley.
The Red Cross has opened a shelter at the Berglund Center. Pets are welcome as well, with the exception of exotic pets, wildlife or aggressive dogs. You should bring bedding, clothing, medications, and for children, a favorite comfort item like a stuffed animal.
SATURDAY LATE AFTERNOON: Roanoke County has taken the precautionary step of declaring a state of emergency. That enables the county to request state and local resources should they become needed.
SATURDAY MIDDAY: The latest river forecast shows the Roanoke river is expected to start rising above flood stage some time Monday morning and briefly reach major flood stage in the valley Monday night before quickly receding. The forecast models suggest the river will crest seven feet below its record high levels.
SATURDAY AM: As of mid-morning, Appalachian Power had reported up to 2,600 customers are without power in its Virginia service area, most of those concentrated in Floyd, Bedford and Franklin Counties. The utility says it has outside crews ready to assist its own in coming days as the number of outages is expected to greatly increase.
If you are on the road today, be prepared for periods of heavy rains and gusty winds. VDOT has issued a high wind advisory for I-77 between the North Carolina line up the mountain to Fancy Gap.
The first cancellations are starting to appear on the board at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport. If you have flight plans today, make sure to check with your airline.
The Town of Blacksburg is making sand bags available today until four for town residents as long as supplies last. You can pick them up at the Blacksburg Rec Center. The maximum per person is six.
FRIDAY PM: Roanoke College has cancelled all classes and events for Monday over potential flash flooding concerns. The college says essential services like dining and health will continue to be provided.
Roanoke County is urging residents to sign up for its “RoCo Alerts” citizen alert and warning system via the county’s website, where there is also a “RoCo Alert” page with up to date emergency information. If you lose power but the county libraries still have it they will make power strips available where people can charge their phones and digital devices.
“Roanoke County Public Libraries will be making available additional power strips and we invite people to bring their digital devices and chargers to any of our locations. In the event of a power outage, the libraries will close. No fines will be assessed on any materials due to the library over the weekend.”
Governor Northam lifted the mandatory evacuation order for low-lying areas of coastal Virginia. It came after the National Weather Service cancelled its tropical storm warning for coastal areas. Emergency Management officials are turning their focus to possible flooding in coming days in southwest Virginia.
The entire Blue Ridge Parkway is closing Friday at 8:00 pm in anticipation of Hurricane Florence’s arrival. One of the few facilities that will remain open along the parkway is Peaks of Otter Lodge, but that will be accessible only by way on state route 43, not the parkway itself. The parkway closure will continue until further notice.
The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for much of Southside and southwest Virginia that covers three days — starting tomorrow 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.