‘The power of water is amazing’: Dan River reaches moderate flood stage in Danville

River swelled to more than 27 feet high Friday evening

DANVILLE, Va. – Danville experienced major flooding from the Dan River for the second time this year on Friday.

The river swelled to more than 27 feet by Friday evening, which is past the moderate flood benchmark of 26 feet. The National Weather Service originally forecasted the river to rise as high as 28 feet by sunset.

According to National Weather Service records, the flooding is a top-five high water mark for the Dan River in Danville. Two of the other instances happened in the past two years; it reached 27 feet this February, and the all-time mark of 30 feet was set by Tropical Storm Michael in October 2018.

The high water shut down several notable streets in Danville, including portions of River Street and Memorial Drive; however, it did not cause any notable damage in the city.

Onlookers watched the river rise from several places in town.

10-year-old Rio Hayworth traveled from Roxboro to Danville to visit his grandmother for Memorial Day Weekend.

He watched the Dan River from the Union Street Bridge and was fascinated by how powerful it became.

“It’s surprising to see that it’s taking trees down," Hayworth said. "It’s taking branches that are twice the height of you, and breaking them in half and tossing them around.”

Former Danville Assistant Fire Chief Steve Dishman paid attention to the river from the Robertson Bridge. Dishman said the city is starting to get acclimated to the Dan River’s intense flooding.

“The power of water and the impact of water is amazing,” Dishman said. “In the last year and a half or a little more, we’ve had a lot of damage from water and floods, flash floods especially. This is not as critical as a flash flood because you can predict this better.”

Dishman is now the emergency services coordinator for Halifax County, which is experiencing its own flooding event from the Dan River.

While the river will likely recede in Danville Friday, it is projected to rise in South Boston throughout the weekend.