This evening and tonight, the remnants of Tropical Storm Florence are expected to bring high sustained winds and gusts of up to 40 mph in elevations above 2,500 feet, particularly in southern Virginia. Also in southern Virginia 4-10” of rainfall is expected to cause flooding, even in rivers away from the heaviest rainfall. The heaviest periods of rain are expected tonight. Some landslides in the mountains cannot be ruled out. Soft soils and weakened tree roots will mean even wind gusts of 30-40 mph could lead to more issues than usual.
Our employees and contractors remain prepared to move into areas that may experience damage and outages from Florence. The company’s response plan includes the availability of storm restoration workers from outside the company’s service area if needed, and contingency planning for facilities in areas where flooding issues may arise.
We’re also monitoring changing forecasts of storm impacts on our 6 hydroelectric dams on the New and Roanoke rivers in Virginia. Targeted drawdowns of the reservoirs at Claytor, Buck, Smith Mountain and Leesville lakes were completed Thursday and Hydro Operations continues to adjust levels as needed. The New River could see predicted major flooding by Monday morning. Riverside residents, campers and businesses should be vigilant by monitoring and heeding weather service and law enforcement warnings.
Flooding and high winds are of concern with this storm because they could hamper our ability to respond. We will provide more updates as the storm progresses.