SOUTH BOSTON, Va. – The intense rain that fell in Virginia this week caused some South Boston residents to predict the Dan River would overflow in their town.
“When you get a lot of rain like we’ve had in the mountains and all the water comes down the Dan River, that’s when we really flood,” said longtime South Boston resident Floyd Sreves.
That premonition came true Saturday; according to the National Weather Service, the Dan River reached the moderate flooding stage in South Boston, with a measured height of 29 feet.
The river lashed near the bottom of the Watkins Bridge, which carries Highway 501 into downtown South Boston, and flooded the road leading up to the bridge.
“The McDonald’s sign is going to be underwater when you go down 501," Sreves said. “It’s a pretty good flood. We got a lot of rain.”
The flooding extended all the way down to Highway 501′s intersection with the combination Highway 58/360. As a result, Virginia State Police closed the crucial crossing and detoured drivers around the area.
“You can take 501 going to North Carolina, 501 going to Lynchburg, or 360 to Richmond," said Halifax County resident Calvin Howerton. "This intersection feeds a lot.”
While drivers could not cross the junction, people such as Howerton came to the intersection to see the flooding firsthand. Howerton said the intersection is known to flood, but he has not seen flooding this severe since Tropical Storm Michael entered Virginia in 2018.
“When it got up the last time, it was a little bit farther up than it is today," Howerton said. "This is not the worst that we’ve seen in Halifax County, it’s been a lot worse than this.”
The Dan River is not expected to crest in South Boston until early Sunday morning.