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More heavy rain, including possible thunderstorms this afternoon, may push already swollen creeks and rivers back into flooding.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Updated: 4:20 p.m.
A flood watch for the Roanoke and New River valleys and the Alleghany Highlands was lifted by the National Weather Service at 3:42 p.m.
At the same time, the service lifted a flood warning for downstream communities along the James River, including Amherst, Bedford and Campbell counties and the city of Lynchburg. The warning remains in effect for Buchanan and Botetourt County.
However, the bulletin notes that water levels have crested along the upper James. While the water level at Buchanan remains just above the 17-foot flood stage, it continues to fall quickly.
Posted: 11:35 a.m.
The Roanoke and New River valleys and the Alleghany Highlands are back under a flood watch through this evening.
While river and stream levels have been receding from yesterday's crests, the National Weather Service said, locally heavy rain today in areas with already saturated ground may cause surface runoff that could trigger more flooding.
Strong thunderstorms in the area this afternoon could also produce up to quarter-size hail, the service said in its hazardous weather alert.
While the James River at Buchanan is still at over 19 feet, which is considered minor flooding, the weather service observations show the level continuing to fall slowly this morning. Both the Roanoke River near downtown Roanoke and the New River at Radford have fallen below flood stage, the data shows.
Meanwhile, the Jackson River should rise by 2.4 feet at Covington because of a controlled release of water at Gathright Dam by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a corps news release said.
The increased flow will continue as long as weather conditions require it, the release said, but the Jackson should remain within its natural banks.
From today's paper: Rain 'by no means completely done,' National Weather Service expert says
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