Scottsville Flood Preparations

By: Venton Blandin
By: Venton Blandin
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June 28, 2006

The heavy rainfall that has fallen over area for the past few days have come and gone, but it's impact is still being felt all over Virginia.
The town of Scottsville is feeling the weather's effect in many ways especially financially.

The heavy rainfall lasted for five consecutive days. It was needed to alleviate the yearly rain deficit, but now it's causing a few problems of its own for some businesses.

"Well, our campgrounds are underwater for number one, and number two, the river going to be too high run," said Jeff Schmick, owner of James River Runners.

It's going to be that way a little longer because the the town of Scottsville sits over the Mink Creek. The creek is expected to crest at 22 feet. The potential to do so is also affecting some business owners, looking to see a crest in their cash-flow, during the Fourth of July holiday.

"We were booked solid, and now no bookings at all, so we're underwater," added Schmick.

Schmick understands mother nature and safety. In fact, it's on the minds of everyone in town.

"We just had our pumps inspected, so we know they are working good too. It's pretty much just normal operation for when we do have flooding," said Scottesville Vice-Mayor Jeannette Kerlin.

Making sure that flooding does not happen like it did back in 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s; crews are keeping a close eye on the levees.

"The condition right now is in excellent shape. We had so local downpours overnight which we were able to handle," said Levee Supervisor Tim Karr.

They got the water out of the Mink Creek, and put it back into the James River. The pumping system used near the levees can suck more than 50,000 gallons of water out at any given time.

Along with the levees, it's just enough to keep Scottsville above ground.

"Without the levee, the businesses of Scottsville would not be able to thrive like they do today," added Karr.

The last time the town of Scottsville flooded was in 1985, just two years before former mayor, Mayor Thacker got the levees in place.

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