Downed Trees and Flooding Impacting Travel in Western Virginia

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photo credit: Fred First
photo credit: Fred First

Overnight, gusty winds and heavy rains from the remnants of Hurricane Florence have downed trees and flooded roads in western Virginia. Rain is still falling and flooding will continue to impact travel today.

As of 4:30 a.m., dozens of roads in VDOT’s Salem District are blocked by down trees or are covered by standing water. Impacts are reported in the counties of Bedford, Carroll, Floyd, Franklin, Henry, Montgomery, Patrick and Roanoke.

The Virginia Department of Transportation urges motorists to check weather forecasts and road conditions today before traveling and plan trips accordingly. Motorists should drive with extra care and limit travel during heavy rainfall.

The most up-to-date information about flooded roads is available at www.511Virginia.org. To access the list of flooded roads, look for the text views section of the site and search under road conditions. Dozens of roads are blocked due to flooding or downed trees. Conditions are constantly changing.To report downed trees or debris on state maintained roads, citizens can contact VDOT’s customer service center at 1-800-367-7623. For emergencies, dial 911.

Drivers who must travel in stormy weather are reminded of the following:

Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Never drive through water flowing across a road. It takes only six to 12 inches of water to float a small vehicle.
Never drive around barricades. Remember, the road has been closed for your safety.
Avoid flood-prone areas, especially along creeks and other low-lying areas.
Be alert for tree limbs and other debris in the roadway. Even small branches and other debris can damage a car or cause the driver to lose control.
If you come across a downed power line, do not try to move it. Contact your local authorities.