Cleaning up from the wrath of Mother Nature

Storm clouds over the Blue Ridge Parkway
Storm clouds over the Blue Ridge Parkway
Storm clouds over the Blue Ridge Parkway

Cleanup continues today on the damage from heavy rains and flooding from the deluge of rain that fell on the area over the Fourth of July holiday.

Crews work to clear debris from downed trees that blocked parts of Rte. 615 (Christiansburg Pike) and a number of low-lying roads are still littered with mud and debris from flooding.  Blogger Fred First describes a flood-raging Goose Creek that spread damage near his home:

And it came on top of soil already saturated. And in our topography, that means flash floods. We stood on the front porch and watched the edge of the creek creep closer to the road in front of the barn. A stone’s throw from the front steps, Goose Creek carved back the standing four foot wall of sand, soil and alluvial rock that has laid in this valley undisturbed for a thousand years.

Huge chunks of the bank fell into the roiling muddy water and disappeared. The low-frequency rumble of boulders tumbling unseen in the muddy water was felt as much as heard as they crashed against each other, propelled by the alarming force of so much water.

Mudslides have hit a number of roads, most notably U.S. 221 at the bottom of Bent Mountain.  Ironically, one of the areas hit was where I crashed my motorcycle last year to try and avoid hitting a black cow on a dark road late at night.

A Buchanan man died while trying to clear out a culvert.

The ground is saturated, trees are unsteady because of loosened roots and basements and crawl spaces are flooded.  The Virginia Department of Transportation appears overwhelmed by the scale of the cleanup and residents must cope with power outages, flood damage and washed out driveways.

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