‘Gone in a day': New River Valley families forced from homes, dog drowns after heavy rain, flooding

Homes across the region were damaged after bouts of rain and flooding

NEW RIVER VALLEY, Va. – Joe and Melinda Ogle built their Giles County home on Willowcroft Lane 26 years ago.

After heavy rain hit the region, the family heard a thump on Thursday and discovered the hillside above their home had shifted, knocking over a retaining wall and sending it straight into their garage. A soil expert from Virginia Tech evaluated the damage over the weekend and told the Ogles that their home is uninhabitable.

“This is my life right there. I don’t even know what to say," said Joe Ogle. "We built this home and now it’s gone. Gone in a day.”

The next morning they noticed a deep crack in a retaining wall beneath Winding Way Drive, which sits atop the hillside above their home.

A Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) spokesperson said it built the retaining wall last year to stabilize the route. Saturday, a VDOT geologist inspected the road and said he believes the crack is cosmetic. VDOT monitored the conditions every day over the weekend. Monday evening, the spokesperson told 10 News that VDOT plans to close Winding Way Road.

In Christiansburg, flash flooding on College Street left a neighborhood underwater. Steven Purcell barely had enough time to move his valuables up out of reach and move both his and his girlfriend’s cars before the floodwaters filled their garage and rose within inches of their living room.

“By then my garage was filled with two to three feet of water," Purcell said.

On that same street, a Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputy’s personal dog drowned when their basement wall collapsed and flooded.


About the Author: