Storms, flooding, wind warnings close schools

The Floyd County school system had a two-hour delay in effect until shortly after 6 a.m. Friday when road conditions forced closing.
Thunderstorms in the Blue Ridge.

Floyd County Schools decided to close Friday because of flooding and damage from Thursday’s storm that dumped several inches of water throughout the region.

While many school systems in Southwestern Virginia decided to delay start of classes by a couple of hours, Floyd pulled the plug and announced closing shortly after 6 a.m. Friday.

The rumble of thunder could be felt throughout the area, along with flashes of lightning brightening up the skies.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency for Southwestern Virginia localities impacted by the flooding and storms.

“This weather is potentially dangerous, and rivers and streams can reach flood stage hours after the rain has passed,” he said Friday. “I urge all Virginians to monitor forecasts and be prepared to obey local evacuation orders if needed. We are grateful to first responders who are working to rescue people from flooded homes and keep citizens safe.”

By late morning, the boys’ basketball game, with winter homecoming and postponed on the past two Fridays, was postponed for the third time.

With the rain ending early Friday morning, the National Weather Service office in Blacksburg replaced the rainstorm warning with a wind advisory from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Weather Service expects winds ranging from 15 to 30 miles per hour with gusts up to 59 mph in Floyd and surrounding areas. The winds are expected to bring limb down, along with the possibility of trees and knock out power in some areas.

Says NWS:

…WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM EST THIS EVENING… * WHAT…WEST WINDS 15 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 50 MPH EXPECTED. * WHERE…IN VIRGINIA, GRAYSON, CARROLL AND FLOYD COUNTIES. IN NORTH CAROLINA, ASHE, ALLEGHANY NC AND WATAUGA COUNTIES. * WHEN…FROM 6 AM TO 6 PM EST FRIDAY. * IMPACTS…GUSTY WINDS WILL BLOW AROUND UNSECURED OBJECTS. TREE LIMBS COULD BE BLOWN DOWN AND A FEW POWER OUTAGES MAY RESULT. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS…TREES MAY BE MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO BEING BLOWN DOWN DUE TO HIGHLY SATURATES SOIL, EVEN WITH WINDS GUSTS WELL BELOW 50 MPH. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… USE EXTRA CAUTION WHEN DRIVING, ESPECIALLY IF OPERATING A HIGH PROFILE VEHICLE. SECURE OUTDOOR OBJECTS.

High temperatures expected to hit 43 degrees during the day face wind chills that could lower the “feel” by 10 degrees or so and the thermometer is expected to drop to 29 overnight, bringing the threat of slick roads and black ice.

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