River Road and Mountain Road Flooding Impacts Driving Conditions

Nearly two days of steady rain combined with soggy soils saturated by snowmelt were conspiring to cause problems for Clarke County drivers by Saturday morning. Flood prone areas throughout the area are quickly succumbing to the spring flood rite making travel in some areas difficult and, in some places, dangerous.

River Road south of Route 7 is submerged in several areas while Blue Ridge Mountain Highway (Va. Rt. 601) is also experiencing flooding and road debris both north and south of Mount Weather as of Saturday morning. Driving conditions on both roads  is poor.
Motorist slows for flood debris on Blue Ridge Mountain Road, Clarke County, Virginia

Motorist slows for flood debris on Blue Ridge Mountain Road, Clarke County, Virginia

Road conditions will stay slippery for the rest of the weekend. The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for Clarke County and the surrounding area. Flood stage for the Potomac River at Harper’s Ferry is 18 feet. The river is expected to crest at 20.8 feet at Harper’s Ferry by Monday morning. Area motorists should never attempt to drive through a flooded area. Most flood- related deaths are caused by motorists attempting to drive through flooded roadways.

With almost four inches of rainfall between 6:00 a.m. Friday and noon Saturday combining with melt-off from the six inches of mountain snow lingering from recent storms, water rushing from the Blue Ridge into the Shenandoah River will ensure continued flood-related problems for the next several days.

Saturday morning also saw Blue Ridge Mountain Road, with an elevation nearly one thousand feet higher than River Road, experiencing heavy run-off from melting snow freed by recent 50 degree temperatures. Small to moderate streams of water were flowing over many areas of the roadway dragging mud, leaves and gravel onto the surface. Poor visibility due to fog and rain make road debris particularly hazardous on Route 601.

This winter’s heavy snows and, now, flooding may remind long-time area residents of Clarke’s  1995-1996 winter when an early spring heat wave melted nearly four feet of snow in less than a week. After enduring one of the worst snowstorms in modern history, Clarke residents then witnessed record flooding on both the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers.

Comments

  1. Thx for posting these images. This is BAD stuff. Great coverage.

  2. Jim Willis says:

    do not use the dump road coming off Salem Church Rd. Very fast flowing and very dangerous