Official: South River at flood stage, expected to crest at 1 p.m. Monday

Story by Chris Graham

The South River is above flood stage in Waynesboro after Sunday’s dousing of heavy rain, and is expected to crest at 1 p.m. Monday at 10.5 feet, about a foot above flood stage, according to a report from the Waynesboro Department of Emergency Management this morning.

The river is at 10 feet as of 9:15 a.m. Monday morning, said Gary Critzer, the director of emergency management in the city. Even with the rain event appearing to have moved out of the area, projections are still holding for the 10.5-foot crest Monday afternoon, Critzer said.

“Just because it stops raining doesn’t mean the water doesn’t stop collecting in the river from the mountains and from locations south of us,” Critzer said.

An emergency shelter is open at Kate Collins Middle School on Ivy Street for people who need a place to relocate. Sandbags and sand will be available in the city parking lot at Arch Avenue and Main Street and in the cul-de-sac at Brookside Cove in Club Court.

Critzer called flooding at the 10.5-foot flood stage “livable.” “There will be some minor flooding in roadways, but at ten and a half feet, you’re not talking about water getting into people’s homes or businesses,” Critzer said.

City officials are still keeping their fingers crossed. “The possibility still exists for showers or the kinds of popup thunderstorms that you often see associated with these kinds of weather fronts,” Critzer said.

More rain could push the river crest to the 11- to 11.5-foot mark that could put some homes and downtown businesses in danger, Critzer said.

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