STORY POSTED AT 4:30 P.M. FRIDAY
Here is the current situation report from the city: The latest forecast from the National Weather Service in Blacksburg calls for Danville to receive less rainfall this weekend than earlier expected.
However, significant rainfall amounts of 1 to 3 inches still are forecast, with periods of more moderate to heavy rainfall from late Friday through midday Saturday. The rainfall also will remain a prolonged event, with light rain expected for the remainder of Saturday and much of Sunday.
The ground is already saturated, so any precipitation will drive river levels higher. Danville remains under a flood warning for the Dan River in Danville until Monday afternoon. A flood warning means that flooding is occurring or will likely occur soon.
The Dan River is expected to rise above flood stage in Danville by midnight tomorrow and continue to rise to 25.1 feet by early Sunday morning. At this level, flooding will be moderate. This crest compares to a previous crest of 25.5 feet on Jan. 1, 2007. The record for Danville is 28.65 feet in 1996 following Hurricane Fran. Flood stage is 17 feet.
City of Danville emergency management personnel continue to monitor the weather and participate in coordination with the Virginia Emergency Operations Center. Emergency shelter teams are on standby, but it appears unlikely there will be a need to activate shelters.
Public Works Department tree removal, street maintenance and sewer maintenance crews will remain on standby this weekend for 12-hour shifts. Tree crews will clear downed trees and limbs as they occur across city streets. Street maintenance crews will place detour and lane closure signs as needed. Flooding is most likely to occur on River Street, Trade Street and Water Street. Crews have placed water pumps on River Street and are prepared to operate those pumps as needed to keep the street open for travel.
The city is no longer is under a high wind watch by the National Weather Service. Widespread power outages no longer are anticipated. Danville Utilities crews will remain on standby through the weekend.
ORIGINAL STORY POSTED 5:30 P.M. THURSDAY
The Dan River is currently at minor flood stage in Danville. The forecast is for the river to be at a moderate flood stage by Saturday morning and exceed major flood stage by Saturday evening. The latest forecast from the National Weather Service is for the Dan River to crest in Danville near 25 feet on Saturday night. The record is 28.65 feet in 1996 following Hurricane Fran.
City of Danville emergency services personnel are monitoring the weather and participating in coordination with the Virginia Emergency Operations Center. Danville Social Services is gearing up for emergency shelter operations. Bonner Middle School will serve as an emergency shelter. Coates Recreation Center and Glenwood Recreation Center will provide secondary options for shelter. We will alert the public when these shelters are open.
Danville Utilities will begin around-the-clock operations on Friday. Contract crews will arrive to assist the city’s line crews over the weekend. The dispatch operations center will have additional staffing to handle phone calls from citizens reporting power outages. Widespread power outages are expected this weekend due to trees falling over power lines because of the saturated ground and gusty winds. Danville Utilities reminds citizens to the following:
• Stay away from downed power lines, trees touching lines, and anything else that is touching a power line.
• Prepare an emergency kit that includes a minimum three-day supply of essential items, such as water, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, extra batteries and prescribed medications.
• Store water in big pans and the bathtub for personal use in case of a power outage.
• Obtain cash in advance in case ATMs are down due to power outages.
• Citizens who plan to use a generator are urged to buy fuel now.
• Customers who depend on electricity for medical equipment or a mobility device are urged to ensure all batteries are fully charged each day and be prepared to evacuate with extra batteries and any charging equipment needed.
Public Works will crews be on standby over the weekend to respond to reports of downed trees on city streets. Street detour and lane closure signs will be placed as needed. Flooding is most likely to occur on River Street, Trade Street and Water Street. Crews have placed water pumps on River Street and are prepared to operate those pumps as needed to keep the street open for travel. Danville Public Works reminds citizens of the following:
• Slow down and be alert to street conditions.
• Do not drive into flooded areas. If your vehicle becomes surrounded by rising water, get out quickly and move to higher ground, if possible.
• Floodwater might cut off access to roads. Be prepared to stay where you are until floodwaters recede.
• Determine in advance the safest route from your home to a safe place that can protect you from high winds or flooding.
Statement from Assistant Fire Chief Steve Dishman: “We request that all citizens of Danville be aware of the weather conditions and take precautions to stay away from moving water and other areas where erosion may occur and the bank give way. We also warn drivers to not try to cross areas of flowing water where the water may be deep enough to wash the vehicle off the roadway or the roadway could be washed out. Have adequate food and water to sustain you for up to 72 hours if possible. Report any areas of damage to roads, utilities or structures to emergency management when safe to do so.”