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Wow, the news media didn't give any idea of how bad it really was. The one bright spot was the 'reflecting pool' - it would've been a pretty thing if it weren't for what had caused it. Thanks for the link - good to see what's really happening.
Bob, I live about 50 miles southeast of Richmond and I get the local news from there as well as the Tidewater area. Everyone here was expecting rain from Gaston, but I don't think anybody figured Richmond would receive that much rain. I am glad to hear your daughter is safe and sound and if she needs any replacement plants for her garden please feel free to email me. Carol
Bob, thanks for posting this link. I live in Richmond (far west end) but was on vacation in the Outer Banks when Gaston hit. Having worked and played in Shockoe Bottom, these pictures really struck home. One of our favorite resturants - Bottoms Up Pizza - had it's first floor washed out. I was just there a couple of months ago!
What's really sad is that this was not caused by the river rising, but by the water coming down the hills and being stopped by the river wall (built to keep the river out when rising). Had the wall not been there, the water would have just gone into the James River. I hope Frances doesn't drop a lot of rain on us this week. And then there is Ivan...
I talked to my freind in Richmond this morning...the beautiful little stone bridge across Falling Creek at the Way side park on Petersburg Turnpike was washed out...sad to see that go...plus, some of the Falling Creek Apartments were washed out. But as GG says...it wasn't the river that did it but the creeks...Falling Creek Marina only got about 4" of water in the shop, but Falling Creek flowing into the James there was terrible. Jo
Gardengirl, I heard about Bottoms Up Pizza on the news. They said that there were 20+ customers in there who couldn't get out and they had to go up to the second floor in order to stay safe. How scary. I know that Norfolk has sent workers and equipment this weekend to help clean out the city drains. Was this part of the problem too?
Carol7, my understanding from the news and papers is that so much rain fell very quickly. Shockoe Bottom is right at the base of Church Hill and I'm gathering that the heavy rain just flowed down the hill and pretty much settled in the Bottom. Normally, it would have continued over to the James, but with the new walls built to keep the James from overflowing, the water just stayed there and continued rising.
I don't even remember flooding like this from the James River before.
So Carol7, do you live in Norolk? That's where I'm from - right across Granby St from DePaul Hospital.
Gardengirl, I live in Surry. I used to live in Newport News, but decided to leave the city and move out into the country. Smithfield/Isle of Wight area is really building up; but Surry is still a small, agricultural county. My DH used to live in Norfolk too.
Gardengirl, I well remember Hurricane Camille. It was a Cat.5 storm that struck the Gulf Coast in August, 1969. It continued up the Mississippi River Valley and dumped 25 inches of rain in under 8 hours in Nelson County, VA. The James River flooded like you can't believe killing something like 100 people. Whole towns were eradicated. I remember going to Hollywood Cemetery to get a glimpse of the river and seeing a silo shoot the rapids. All the bridges accross the James were closed and downtown Richmond was under many feet of water. That event triggered the idea of the flood wall I'm sure. If you go to the site below and scroll down a few photos, you'll find two taken in Richmond. In the background of the one on the right I believe I see the Main Street Station so this one was probably taken in (what we always called) Shockoe Slip.
Wow Bob, thanks so much for that info. I remember well my family talking about Camille. It always sees like hurricanes were compared to that one until Isabel last year - which did nothing compared to Camille. Of course, we're now bracing for Ivan. Yesterday we had tornados all over central Va - one "rotation" a mile from us. The skies were wicked!!
RBB, our oldest daughter still lives there in Richmond too. I hear about the excessive rain every day when I talk to her. I think I may encourage her to come inland-to central MO- like they did a few years ago when a bad storm was predicted. They lived in Virginia Beach at that time.