City officials watching weather forecast

Snow-rain double-whammy caused massive ’96 flooding

Story by Chris Graham

The first of the two 100-year floods of 1996 in Waynesboro was precipitated by a massive early-January snowstorm that dumped 30 inches-plus of snow followed by a heavy-rain event a week later that forced the South River out of its banks.

With snow still on the ground from the 30-inch-plus snow event of the past weekend and rain in the forecast for the end of the week, city officials are closely monitoring the weather situation, though things aren’t looking like they’re lining up for a repeat of January 1996 at this point in time.

“The temperatures aren’t forecast to be as warm as they were in ’96, and the rain isn’t looking to be as significant as the rain event we saw then, either,” said Gary Critzer, the director of emergency operations in Waynesboro, who is nonetheless keeping a close eye on the weather because of the recent history with that ’96 double whammy.

The reason for the caution: The unusually wet autumn has the South River about 1.2 feet above its normal water flow.

The early forecast models have the Central Shenandoah Valley in line for up to inch of rain in association with the rain event that could hit the area later Thursday and into the day Friday.

Those early models have the event beginning as a winter-weather event with the precipitation changing over to rain into Friday.


uva basketball team of destiny

Team of Destiny: Inside UVA Basketball's improbable run

Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

augusta free press

Related Content

Shop Google


%d bloggers like this: