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The original item was published from 10/12/2018 12:30:00 PM to 10/12/2018 12:31:21 PM.

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Danville, VA Local Government News and Announcements

Posted on: October 12, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Flash flooding claims two lives in the city

Graphic - Turn around, don't drown

UPDATE POSTED AT 10:30 A.M. FRIDAY: Police and Fire and Rescue personnel responded to the scene of two storm-related incidents that resulted in fatalities overnight.

At approximately 5 p.m. Thursday, William Lynn Tanksley, 53, of Danville was swept away from his vehicle by swift moving water during flash flooding near the 100 block of Colonial Court. His body will be transported to Roanoke for autopsy.

A second fatality occurred on Goodyear Boulevard around 10:20 p.m. Thursday. The victim was stranded inside of a vehicle that was overrun by flash flood waters. Victim identification is pending family notification. 

 Here is the latest situation report:

  • A local state of emergency remains in place.
  •  We have about 12,000 customers without power. AEP restored service this morning to one of our power delivery points, so two of our three delivery points are in service. We are working to re-energize as many substations as we can. As we energize substations, we expect there will be areas without power because of broken poles and trees across lines. Our crews will be working 16-hour shifts until all the damage is repaired. We will be assisted today by crews from three cities. At the height of the storm, we had 20,000 customers without power.
  • Here is a list of major street closures:
    • River Street from Main Street to Old Halifax Road is closed and will remain closed until floodwater recedes.
    • Craghead Street is closed at Colquohoun Street. Public Works is working to reopen the street.
    • Goodyear Boulevard is closed at Jenny Lane and will remain closed until floodwater recedes.
    • West Main Street northbound lanes are closed at Edgewood Drive. Traffic is being rerouted onto Edgewood Drive.
    • Third Avenue West is closed. The roadway is washed out. Public Works is working to reopen the street.
    • Audubon Drive is closed at Apollo Avenue and will remain closed through the weekend.
    • Elizabeth Street closed at Rutledy Creek.
  • Here is a map link to the current street closures:
  • The Dan River crested overnight in Danville at 30.01 feet, which is more than a foot above the river crest of 28.65 feet during Hurricane Fran in 1996. The river is projected to remain in major flood stage until Saturday morning. Major flood stage is 25.5 feet. The current river level is 27.6 feet.
  • We have closed the emergency evacuation shelter at Bonner Middle School. We had 45 citizens who came to the shelter at the height of the storm. Nine stayed overnight. All have left, so we have closed the shelter.
  • The Parks and Recreation Department is assessing damage at parks and along the Riverwalk Trail. Ballou Park has numerous fallen trees. The trail remains covered by floodwater.
  • The Danville Public Library system is operating under normal hours today.
  • The James F. Ingram Justice Center (courthouse) is closed today.
  • Public Works crews are collecting household garbage today as scheduled. Households that were missed on Thursday due to the storm will have their refuse collected next Thursday.
  • Yard waste collection will not take place today because crews are being diverted to traffic hazard areas.


 Here is the latest situation report:

  • A local state of emergency remains in place.
  • We have about 20,000 customers without power because two of AEP's three power feeds to us are out of service. We cannot restore power until AEP repairs the feeds. We hope the feeds will be restored overnight. In the interim, our crews are scouting our lines for damage. We have crews from three cities arriving Friday morning to assist. We ask customers to be prepared to not have service restored for 24-36 hours due to the damage. We also ask residents and visitors to stay clear of downed power lines as they could be still energized.
  • Travel on city streets remains hazardous due to damage and debris and downed power lines from flash flooding earlier today. In addition, traffic signals at many major intersections are not operational due to power outages. Motorists should treat these intersections as four-way stops.
  • The Dan River level has risen to 29.9 feet, which is the highest level recorded since Hurricane Fran in 1996, when the river crested at 28.65 feet. The river is projected to crest at 31.8 feet overnight and remain at that level until Saturday morning.
  • High water rescue units from the Virginia National Guard and State Police will arrive Friday morning to assist with evacuations from flooding.
  • An emergency evacuation shelter is open at Bonner Middle School.
  • All City administrative buildings, including the Municipal Building and the Charles Harris Financial Services Center, will open to the public on a two-hour delay Friday.


City of Danville departments are mobilized for Tropical Storm Michael, which is passing today to the southeast and will bring heavy rain at times and, later today, gusty winds.

According to the National Weather Service, Michael presents a number of threats to the area, including flash flooding, river flooding, debris flows, gusty winds of 30 mph that could result in localized power outages, and isolated tornadoes.

A flash flood watch and a tornado watch are in effect for Danville.

As of noon today, Michael was located in south central North Carolina and moving northeast. Michael is expected to stay well to the southeast of Danville, according to the National Weather Service office in Blacksburg.

However, Danville will receive four to six inches of rain through today. Rainfall will be heavy at times and could lead the National Weather Service to issue a flash flood warning later today.

On Friday, the rain will end and winds will diminish, but the Dan River in Danville is expected to reach near major flood stage. The National Weather Service has issued a river flood warning that is effective from 1:05 a.m. Friday to 11:56 p.m. Saturday.

The latest projection shows the Dan River cresting in Danville at 24.7 feet around noon Friday. The river level is currently at 7.77 feet. It reaches moderate flood stage at 20.5 feet and major flood stage at 25.5 feet.

The Public Works Department has set up water pumps on River Street to keep the street open, and it has loaded barricades on trucks to deploy if street closures are necessary.

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

  • The recycling area at South Boston Road and Halifax Road.
  • The empty lot at corner of Main Street and Memorial Drive.

Sand bags are not being provided.

Later today and into the night, the area will receive wind gusts of 30 mph, which in conjunction with the saturated ground could produce localized power outages. Danville Utilities crews are on standby and prepared to work 16-hour shifts if necessary.

The Parks and Recreation Department anticipates it will be necessary to close Anglers Park later today due to flooding. Warning signs of likely flooding are in place at other areas of the Riverwalk Trail. Sections will be closed as needed.

Residents and visitors are urged to monitor weather developments and pay attention to the river flood warning that has been issued and any warnings if issued for flash flooding and tornadoes.

They also should know the Danville Utilities 24-hour emergency number – (434) 773-8300 – so that it is readily available if needed to report a power outage.

Danville residents and visitors can sign up for weather alerts by email and text at and should monitor media reports or the following web pages and social media feeds from the National Weather Service, National Hurricane Center, Storm Prediction Center and Weather Prediction Center:

  • Facebook:
  • Twitter: @NWSBlacksburg
  • National Hurricane Center:
  • NWS Blacksburg web page: or
  • Storm Prediction Center:
  • Weather Prediction Center:

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