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Danville, VA Local Government News and Announcements

Posted on: September 17, 2018

National Weather Service lowers flood projections

Graphic - Turn around, don't drown

UPDATE AT 5:35 P.M. MONDAY, SEPT. 17: The National Weather Service this afternoon has significantly lowered its river flood projections for the Dan River at all points, including Danville. For Danville, moderate flooding is now expected. The river may briefly reach major flood stage on Tuesday, but it will not last long.

The flood warning from the National Weather Service remains in place for Danville. At 4:15 p.m., the river level was at 20.63 feet. The river level is projected to continue rising to near 25.5 feet by early Tuesday afternoon. A crest of 25.5 feet would compare to the crest of 25.3 on April 25, 2017.

The river will fall below flood stage early Thursday morning, according to the current projection by the National Weather Service. Minor flooding in Danville begins at 17 feet. Moderate flooding begins at 20.5 feet. Major flooding begins at 25.5 feet.

The local state of emergency remains in place. Emergency management personnel continue to monitor weather reports and advisories from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and other state agencies.


UPDATE AT 10:45 A.M. MONDAY, SEPT. 17:


The heaviest rainfall has passed, but major river flooding is expected due to high rainfall amounts already received upstream of the Dan River. City Manager Ken Larking this morning declared a local state of emergency. This declaration is included here in the latest situation report:

  • City Manager Ken Larking this morning declared a local state of emergency. A declaration of a local state of emergency means that the City can request additional resources without going through the typical steps. The declaration also will help ensure access to outside funding to assist in defraying costs associated with response or recovery from impact of Florence. In issuing the declaration, Larking said, “We have been vigilant in our preparations over the last several days for the flood risks that we are facing and we are continuing to monitor the situation. The purpose of the declaration is to be able to mobilize additional resources as quickly as possible. We already have state partners staged and ready to assist, when needed.” The state of emergency will last through Friday. 
  • Mayor Alonzo Jones added, “I ask the residents of Danville, especially those in the flood prone areas of our city, to join us in continually monitoring developments and to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. The steps that you take now will provide greater safety for you, your families and your loved ones. I also ask that you continue check on family members, neighbors, senior citizens and those who live alone.”
  • The Dan River is currently projected to reach major flood stage in Danville, which is 25.5 feet, late this afternoon or early evening, crest at 28.4 feet in the early morning hours of Tuesday, and then remain above major flood stage into Wednesday. Minor flooding in Danville begins at 17 feet. A crest of 28.4 feet would be the highest recorded level since Sept. 7, 1996, during Hurricane Fran. At 9:30 a.m. today, the river level was at 19.6 feet.
  • Parks and Recreation crews closed the entrance to Anglers Park this morning. The entrance to Dan Daniel Memorial Park will be closed at 3 p.m.
  • Residents and visitors remain advised to stay off the Riverwalk Trail. For the safety of the public, Parks and Recreation crews have posted signage closing trailheads on the Riverwalk Trail. Barricades are in place at various locations. In the event of major flooding, several low-lying trailheads and park properties are expected to be under water. The public is urged to avoid all floodwaters and obey all signage.
  • Emergency management personnel continue to monitor weather reports and advisories from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and other state agencies.
  • Public Works crews are prepared to deploy barricades, detour signs and road closure signs as needed for flood prone locations. Residents and visitors are reminded to obey signage and to not move or go around barricades.
  • Since Friday night, Public Works crews have responded to reports of five downed trees.
  • Public Works crews continue restocking sand piles for public use.
  • Danville Utilities power line crews responded to reports of scattered outages over the weekend and this morning due to trees and tree limbs falling across power lines. Three substation feeders were affected, but are back in service. Customers are reminded the 24-hour emergency number for reporting outages is (434) 773-8300. Residents and visitors also are reminded not to go near power lines that have fallen onto the ground.
  • Arrangements remain in place with various agencies to provide shelters. If any resident or visitor needs shelter, then they should call the non-emergency number of the city's Emergency Communications Center. The number is 434-799-5111.


UPDATE AT 4:30 P.M. SUNDAY, SEPT. 16


Here is the latest situation report as of 4 p.m.:

  • At 3 p.m., the National Weather Service reported steady rain bands are spreading from North Carolina into southern Virginia. River flooding and flash flooding remain as potential impacts.
  • The Dan River is currently projected to reach major flood stage in Danville, which is 25.5 feet, on Monday afternoon, crest at 28.2 feet in the early morning hours of Tuesday, and then remain above major flood stage into Wednesday. Minor flooding in Danville begins at 17 feet. A crest of 28.2 feet would be the highest recorded level since Sept. 7, 1996, during Hurricane Fran. At 3:45 p.m. today, the river level was at 8.03 feet.
  • Danville is expected to receive an additional three to six inches of rainfall before ending Monday evening. The city remains under a flash flood watch. Flash flooding is a rapid flooding of low-lying areas, including rivers, streams, creeks and urban areas. A flash flood watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding.
  • Emergency management personnel continue to monitor weather reports and advisories from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and other state agencies.
  • Public Works crews have responded to three reports of fallen trees this weekend. Crews will continue to monitor streets overnight and will set up detours as needed. Residents and visitors are reminded to obey signage and to not move or go around barricades.
  • Danville Utilities power line crews and contract crews have responded to reports of scattered outages this weekend due to trees and tree limbs falling across power lines. The biggest outage occurred at 6:48 a.m. today when a tree on Park Avenue and Park Circle fell across power lines and left 431 customers without power for nearly one hour. Customers are reminded the 24-hour emergency number for reporting outages is (434) 773-8300. Residents and visitors also are reminded not to go near power lines that have fallen onto the ground.
  • Arrangements remain in place with various agencies to provide shelters. If any resident or visitor needs shelter, then they should call the non-emergency number of the city's Emergency Communications Center. The number is 434-799-5111.
  • Residents and visitors remain advised to stay off the Riverwalk Trail. For the safety of the public, Parks and Recreation crews have posted signage closing trailheads on the Riverwalk Trail as well as the entrance to Anglers Park, Abreu-Grogan boat ramp and docks, and the Crossing at the Dan pedestrian bridge. In the event of major flooding, several low-lying trailheads and park properties are expected to be under water. The public is urged to avoid all floodwaters and obey all signage.


UPDATE AT 4:30 P.M. SATURDAY, SEPT. 15


The Blacksburg office of the National Weather Service is forecasting near record flooding for the Dan River, with a crest of 28.2 feet Tuesday morning.

(This paragraph is corrected from yesterday's post:) Minor flooding in Danville begins at 17 feet. A crest of 28.2 feet would be the highest recorded level since Sept. 7, 1996, during Hurricane Fran.

River flooding in Danville enters major flood stage when it reaches 25.5 feet. Current projections show the river entering the major flood stage Monday afternoon.

Steady rain is moving into Danville and will continue through the evening and overnight. The heaviest rainfall will begin during the predawn hours Sunday and continue through the day. A total of three to five inches of rainfall is expected here through Monday, but major flooding of the Dan River is forecast because of heavier rainfall amounts in Henry, Patrick and Floyd counties.

Danville and the region is currently under a flash flood watch through Monday evening. Flash flooding is a rapid flooding of low-lying areas, including rivers, streams, creeks and urban areas. A flash flood watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding.

Isolated tornadoes still cannot be ruled out in the next 48 hours, but the chances are slight and the duration of any tornadoes would be short-lived, according to the National Weather Service.

Emergency management personnel continue to monitor weather reports and advisories from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and other state agencies.

Public Works crews are monitoring streets this weekend. Pumps are in place on River Street to keep the street open to through traffic. A detour of River Street and other flood prone streets will be put in place if necessary.

Danville Utilities power line crews and contract crews have responded to reports of scattered outages today due to tree limbs falling across power lines. The 24-hour emergency number for reporting outages is (434) 773-8300. Residents and visitors also are reminded not to go near power lines that have fallen onto the ground.

Arrangements remain in place with various agencies to provide shelters. If any resident or visitor needs shelter, then they should call the non-emergency number of the city's Emergency Communications Center. The number is 434-799-5111.

Residents and visitors also are advised to stay off the Riverwalk Trail. For the safety of the public, Parks and Recreation crews have posted signage closing trailheads on the Riverwalk Trail as well as the entrance to Anglers Park, Abreu-Grogan boat ramp and docks, and the Crossing at the Dan pedestrian bridge. In the event of major flooding, several low-lying trailheads and park properties are expected to be under water. The public is urged to avoid all floodwaters and obey all signage.


UPDATE AT 4:30 P.M. FRIDAY, SEPT. 14:


Hurricane Florence moved ashore this morning in the Wilmington, N.C., area. At 3 p.m., Florence was moving west, southwest at 5 mph, with sustained winds of 75 mph and gusts in excess of 100 mph. Florence is expected to weaken as it moves inland in South Carolina and then turns north. The Blacksburg office of the National Weather Service reports the biggest threat for Danville over the next three days is flash flooding and river flooding. Beginning Saturday, Danville and,the region is under a flash flood watch for streets and low-lying areas. Major flooding of the Dan River is expected by Monday, with a projected crest of 27.3 feet on Monday afternoon.

As with all weather events, forecasts can change, but as of 4:30 p.m. today, here is the situation report for Danville.

Current weather conditions and forecast

  • Hurricane Florence moved ashore this morning in the Wilmington, N.C., area. At 3 p.m., Florence was moving west, southwest at 5 mph, with sustained winds to 75 mph and gusts in excess of 100 mph. Florence is expected to weaken as it moves inland in South Carolina and then turns north. By daybreak Monday, Florence will be in the extreme western edge of Virginia and by daybreak Tuesday move into western Pennsylvania.
  • With this track, Danville is expected to receive five to eight inches of rainfall, with the heaviest amounts from sunset Saturday to daybreak Monday. Rain bands could significantly add to the rainfall totals.
  • The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch beginning Saturday morning for Danville, Pittsylvania County and other portions of Virginia and North Carolina. The watch will take effect at 8 a.m. Saturday and continue through Monday evening. Flash flooding is a rapid flooding of low-lying areas, including rivers, streams, creeks and urban areas. A flash flood watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. The watch was issued because heavy rain from Florence will lead to flash flooding across the area, especially from Saturday afternoon and evening into Monday.
  • Major flooding of the Dan River is expected by Monday, with a project crest of 27.3 feet on Monday afternoon. The record flood level recorded for the Dan River at Danville was 28.65 during Hurricane Fran in 1996. Since then, the highest level was 25 feet on April 25, 2017.
  • Wind gusts around 30 mph are expected through tonight and into Saturday. With the ground already saturated from the rainfall received this month and in August, these wind gusts could push down trees. Power outages will occur as trees fall across power lines.
  • Isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out as the remnants of the storm moves north from South Carolina.

What the City of Danville is doing now

  • Emergency management personnel continue to monitor weather reports and advisories from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and other state agencies.
  • Public Works crews will monitor streets over the weekend. Pumps are in place on River Street to keep the street open to through traffic. A detour of River Street and other flood prone streets will be put in place if necessary.
  • The Public Works Department continued today to replenish public sand piles. Sand remains available at three locations. Those locations are the recycling area at South Boston Road and Halifax Road, the empty lot at the corner of Main Street and Memorial Drive, and at Colonial Court. Sandbags can be purchased at local stores.
  • Danville Utilities power line crews remain on standby and two contract crews remain reserved to provide assistance in restoring power as needed.
  • Arrangements are in place with various agencies to provide shelters. If any resident or visitor needs shelter, then they should call the non-emergency number of the city's Emergency Communications Center. The number is 434-799-5111.
  • For the safety of the public, Parks and Recreation crews have posted signage closing trailheads on the Riverwalk Trail as well as the entrance to Anglers Park, Abreu-Grogan boat ramp and docks, and the Crossing at the Dan pedestrian bridge. In the event of major flooding, several low-lying trailheads and park properties are expected to be under water. The public is urged to avoid all floodwaters and obey all signage.

What should residents and visitors be doing now:

  • Pay attention to the development of Hurricane Florence, as well as updates from the National Weather Service regarding flash floods and river flooding.
  • With the heaviest amounts of rainfall expected from sunset Saturday to daybreak Monday, residents and visitors are advised to not travel during this period. At all times, motorists should never attempt to drive through flooded streets. Remember...TURN AROUND...DON`T DROWN!
  • Know the Danville Utilities 24-hour emergency number – (434) 773-8300 – so that it is readily available if needed to report a power outage. Do not go near power lines that have fallen onto the ground.


UPDATE AT 4 P.M. THURSDAY, SEPT. 13:


Though Hurricane Florence has weakened within the last 24 hours, the Blacksburg office of the National Weather Service reports no significant changes from yesterday in the forecast for Danville. The city still can expect to receive several inches of rainfall over the next five days, with the heaviest amounts late Saturday and into Sunday. As with all hurricanes, forecasts can change, but as of 4 p.m. today, here is the situation report for Danville:

Current weather conditions and forecast

  • Hurricane Florence has weakened within the last 24 hours. The current location for Florence is 110 miles southeast of Wilmington, N.C., and it is moving northwest at 10 mph. Its maximum sustained wind is 105 to 110 mph. Though its wind speed has diminished from yesterday, Florence’s overall energy has not, according to the National Weather Service. In addition, satellite data shows the hurricane’s eye wall is trying to contract, which indicates the hurricane will strengthen again.
  • Landfall is expected Friday morning along the southern coast of North Carolina, and then Florence will drift southward along the coast. By daybreak Saturday, Florence will move into the northern coast of South Carolina. From there, Florence will gradually move inland and rapidly diminish. By daybreak Sunday, Florence will be in central and western South Carolina and then turn north. By daybreak Monday, Florence will be in the extreme western edge of Virginia and by daybreak Tuesday move into western Pennsylvania.
  • With this track, Danville is still expected to receive several inches of rain over the next five days, with total rainfall amounts of six to seven inches. The heavier amounts of rainfall will occur late Saturday night and into Sunday; localized flooding remains a concern.
  • Wind gusts around 30 mph are expected. With the ground already saturated from the rainfall received this month and in August, these wind gusts could push down trees. Power outages will occur as trees fall across power lines.
  • Isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out as the remnants of the storm moves north from South Carolina.

Mayor’s statement

“I know that the citizens of this city have been monitoring the developments of Hurricane Florence and have been making preparations accordingly,” Mayor Alonzo Jones said Thursday. “I want to commend our citizens for that, and I urge them to continue to stay weather aware in the days ahead. Be prepared in the days ahead for power outages and flooding. Just as you have been preparing, we have been busy making preparations, and we are ready. I ask our citizens to be safe and check on family members, neighbors, senior citizens and those who live alone.

“In addition, earlier today, Sovah Health distributed information that its blood supply is critically low. I urge you to assist with this urgent need by visiting Sovah’s blood donor center. Danville is a strong community, and I know that our citizens will respond to this urgent need.”

Refuse and yard debris collection

The Public Works Department will collect refuse and yard debris on Friday as regularly scheduled. No changes in the schedule have been made because of Hurricane Florence.

 What the City of Danville is doing now

  • Emergency management personnel continue to monitor weather reports and advisories from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and other state agencies.
  • All City vehicles and equipment are fueled and ready for use.
  • Danville Utilities power line crews remain on standby and six contract crews remain reserved to provide assistance in restoring power as needed. Additional right-of-way crews remain reserved to assist with tree trimming activities.
  • The Public Works Department continues to replenish public sand piles. About 150 tons of sand have been provided. Sandbags can be purchased at local stores.
  • Public Works crews are preplacing detour signs in known flood prone areas. Pumps are in place on River Street to keep the street open.
  • For the safety of the public, Parks and Recreation crews on Friday morning will close trailheads on the Riverwalk Trail as well as the entrance to Anglers Park, Abreu-Grogan boat ramp and docks, and the Crossing at the Dan pedestrian bridge. In the event of major flooding, several low-lying trailheads and park properties are expected to be under water. The public is urged to avoid all floodwaters and obey all signage.

What should residents and visitors be doing now:

  • Pay attention to the development of Hurricane Florence. Continue to monitor the storm in case of any erratic shifts in its course over the next couple of days.
  • Residents who have not yet built an emergency kit are encouraged to do so. The kit’s provisions should sustain all residents in a home for at least 72 hours. These kits should include: a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, flashlight, extra batteries, food that does not need refrigeration, a non-electric can opener (if kit contains canned food), bottled water, first aid kit, prescription medication or other individual needs, and copies of important family documents such as insurance policies and identification. 
  • Consider what unique needs your family might have, such as prescription medications, supplies for pets and additional needs for infants or seniors.
  • Continue to make sure family members, friends and neighbors are prepared for an extended weather event.
  • Know the Danville Utilities 24-hour emergency number – (434) 773-8300 – so that it is readily available if needed to report a power outage.

 

UPDATE POSTED AT NOON WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 12


Within the last 24 hours, The National Hurricane Center has shifted the track of Hurricane Florence more to the south. As with all hurricanes, forecasts can change, but as of noon today, here is the latest for Danville:

Current weather forecast

  • The National Hurricane Center has shifted the track of Hurricane Florence more to the south, which will lessen the magnitude of the impacts here at home. Instead of making landfall in North Carolina and then moving northwest, the track has shifted south.
  • The possibility remains for Danville to see several inches of rain this weekend, beginning on Friday, with heavier amounts occurring Sunday or Monday; localized flooding remains a concern.
  • Wind gusts around 30 mph are expected, beginning on Friday and continuing Saturday and perhaps Sunday. With the ground already saturated from the rainfall received this month and in August, these wind gusts could push down trees. Power outages will occur as trees fall across power lines.
  • Hurricane forecasts and tracks can change, so please remain vigilant and prepared.

Sandbags

  • The Public Works Department has suspended its distribution of sandbags due to the significant shift in the projected track of the hurricane and the lower probability of catastrophic damage from flooding.

What the City of Danville is doing now

  • Emergency management personnel continue to monitor weather reports and advisories from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and other state agencies.
  • All City vehicles and equipment are fueled and ready for use.
  • Danville Utilities power line crews remain on standby and six contract crews remain reserved to provide assistance in restoring power as needed. Additional right-of-way crews remain reserved to assist with tree trimming activities.

What should residents and visitors be doing now:

  • Pay attention to the development of Hurricane Florence. Continue to monitor the storm in case of any erratic shifts in its course over the next couple of days.
  • Residents who have not yet built an emergency kit are encouraged to do so. The kit’s provisions should sustain all residents in a home for at least 72 hours. These kits should include: a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, flashlight, extra batteries, food that does not need refrigeration, a non-electric can opener (if kit contains canned food), bottled water, first aid kit, prescription medication or other individual needs, and copies of important family documents such as insurance policies and identification.
  • Consider what unique needs your family might have, such as prescription medications, supplies for pets and additional needs for infants or seniors.
  • Continue to make sure family members, friends and neighbors are prepared for an extended weather event.
  • Know the Danville Utilities 24-hour emergency number – (434) 773-8300 – so that it is readily available if needed to report a power outage.


(ORIGINAL POST ON MONDAY, SEPT. 10)


City of Danville departments are mobilizing in preparation of Hurricane Florence, which increasingly is expected to make landfall late Thursday or early Friday along the North Carolina and South Carolina coastline, and then track slowly west or northwest.

Steve Dishman, director of the Danville Office of Emergency Management, urges residents and visitors to prepare now.

“You want to make sure you are not scrambling around at the last minute,” Dishman said Monday. “You should have a plan in place on how best to protect family and pets in the event of power outages, flooding and damage from wind, and you should be building a basic disaster supplies kit.”

To assist in preparations by residents in flood prone areas, the Public Works Department will provide sand for public use. The sand will be available at the following locations:

  • Coates Recreation Center
  • The recycling area at South Boston Road and Halifax Road.
  • Old Schoolfield mill parking lot on Bishop Avenue.
  • Empty lot at corner of Main Street and Memorial Drive.

As of noon today, the National Hurricane Center had upgraded Florence to a Category 4 storm, with 130 mph winds, making it a major hurricane capable of doing "catastrophic" damage.

The National Weather Service in Blacksburg this morning reported that the currently projected scenario could result in catastrophic flooding rainfall across the mountains of western North Carolina, western Virginia and eastern West Virginia.

Strong and gusty winds could also impact much of the Blacksburg office’s forecast area, which includes Danville, late this week and into the weekend, and last for a considerable length of time, as well causing damage to trees and power lines.

Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency late Saturday in order to mobilize personnel and resources for storm impacts, and to speed the response to those communities that are damaged by the storm. This includes resources from Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the Virginia Department of Transportation, Virginia State Police, Virginia Department of Health, Virginia National Guard and others.


What City of Danville departments are doing now:

  • Danville Utilities crews are stocking their trucks with any outstanding materials needed. Beginning Thursday, they will be on standby and work 16-hour shifts if necessary.
  • In addition, Danville Utilities has reserved six contract line crews from Thursday through the end of storm to restore power as needed. It also has reserved additional right-of-way crews to assist with tree trimming activities.
  • Public Works is topping off fuel sites, and all City vehicles and equipment are being fueled.
  • Public Works is preparing water pumps for flood prone streets and digital message boards for traffic alerts.
  • The Community Development Department is preparing for post storm-related damage assessment duties. Staff is reviewing policies in case a declaration of a disaster is prepared. Staff also is reviewing historic event information to make sure that known areas subject to inundation are noted and proper preparations can be made.
  • The Information Technology Department is prepping the data center for possible flooding. Workstations are being relocated in the event the emergency communications center floods.


What should residents and visitors be doing now:

  • Pay attention to the development of Hurricane Florence.
  • Maintain a kit of enough provisions to sustain all residents in a home for at least 72 hours. These kits should include: a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, flashlight, extra batteries, food that does not need refrigeration, a non-electric can opener (if kit contains canned food), bottled water, first aid kit, prescription medication or other individual needs, and copies of important family documents such as insurance policies and identification.
  • Consider what unique needs your family might have, such as prescription medications, supplies for pets and additional needs for infants or seniors.
  • Make sure family members, friends and neighbors are prepared for an extended weather event.
  • Know the Danville Utilities 24-hour emergency number – (434) 773-8300 – so that it is readily available if needed to report a power outage.

Additional information can be found at ReadyVirginia.gov.

Map - Hurricane Florence projected path
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