NORFOLK, Va. – Flooding in coastal Virginia and North Carolina blocked roads and forced school closings Wednesday that affected for more than 100,000 students.
A stalled weather system and the remnants of Tropical Storm Julia have brought days of rain and localized flooding to the region. The rain is expected to continue into Thursday.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Tim Gingrich said anywhere from 5 inches to 12 inches of rain have fallen “and it’s still raining.” He added that the rainfall has broken records for individual dates on Monday and Tuesday.
“We still have a flash flood watch for at least Norfolk, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach,” Gingrich added.
Gingrich said the worst should be over by Wednesday evening. But he said rain will still fall for much of Thursday before Julia’s remnants are expected to drift out to sea by the following day.
“Right now it’s sitting over a corner of northeast North Carolina and spinning,” he said of the storm.
Major school districts in Virginia’s south Hampton Roads region have canceled classes. So have two North Carolina counties, Currituck and Gates. Local media are reporting impassable roadways and highway ramps throughout the region.
Officials in Chowan County, North Carolina, reported on a website that at least two roads were washed out along with water lines serving 150 customers. Several others roads are impassable. Between five to 10 inches of rain has fallen there. The county remained under a flood warning until the late afternoon.
In Virginia Beach, resident Todd Solomon said he’s never seen rainstorms close schools without a hurricane bearing down.
Solomon lives in a flood-prone neighborhood. He said water flooded his backyard up to his house’s foundation but failed to enter the home. He said his neighborhood has fared pretty well, considering.
“A lot of parents were pretty surprised,” said Solomon who has a child in middle school. “The kids are pretty happy. They were texting, saying hey what are we going to do today? It was like summer or the weekend.”