November 12, 2009
Gov. Tim Kaine declared a state of emergency Wednesday in Virginia as unrelenting rain from a tropical storm soaked the state.
The declaration mobilizes state agencies to prepare for the threat of flooding over a wide swath of Virginia.
The National Weather Service forecasts 3 to 8 inches of rain through Friday morning for parts of the state as remnants of Hurricane Ida crawl across the state.
A coastal flood warning was posted for some areas thanks to a storm surge coinciding with high tide. A flood watch is posted for central, eastern and southeastern areas farther inland.
Kaine's declaration urges Virginians in tidal flood plains and areas prone to flash flooding to be on alert.
Dozens of roads in Hampton Roads and the Roanoke and New River valleys are closed due to flooding.
In southeast Virginia, state transportation officials closed the
Midtown Tunnel as a precaution and the southbound lane of the James
River Bridge. All other bridges and tunnels are open, but officials
are worried that high tide during rush hour could cause severe
traffic problems Thursday afternoon.
Several access ramps onto Interstate 264 also were closed due to
flooding in downtown Norfolk.
Flooding closed portions of U.S. 460 in Montgomery County and
U.S. 220 in Franklin County. Dozens of secondary roads also were
closed in the Roanoke and New River valleys.