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.
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.