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More rain threatens parts of Henry County hit hard by weekend flash flooding

County could see multiple inches of rain Wednesday night, Thursday

BASSETT, Va. – On Wednesday, Cunningham Tire manager Jamie Clark was most concerned the incoming storm and remnants of Tropical Storm Bertha could bring strong wind.

That’s a concern because a wall of the Bassett business partially collapsed Sunday and was unstable Wednesday.

The sound of a pressure washer cleaning mud off tires at Cunningham Tire Wednesday afternoon nearly drowned out the sound of cars going by on Fairystone Park Highway.

It was just part of the effort to clean up as much as possible before potentially getting hit with more flooding Wednesday night.

“We’ve already installed some tarps here. We’ve had investigators with the insurance company out today to take a look. They’ve started their damage assessment process,” said Clark.

Tarps had been put up inside Cunningham Tire Wednesday to try to keep rain from getting in.
Tarps had been put up inside Cunningham Tire Wednesday to try to keep rain from getting in. (WSLS)

As for the back wall, Clark said nothing was able to be done as of Wednesday.

“A structural engineer is on the way. We should know something from them in the next day or so as far as what we need to do," Clark explained.

He estimated damage from Sunday’s storm to be at least $250,000.

Henry County Public Safety director Matt Tatum estimated Sunday’s storm caused nearly $1 million in damage countywide.

He said it’s an important reminder to be prepared for the heavy rain that could fall Wednesday night and Thursday.

“Really be aware of what’s going on and don’t wait until the last minute to try to make something happen. Go ahead and have a plan in place; when and how you may evacuate, where you’re going to go," Tatum said.

Luckily creeks, streams and rivers were not as high Wednesday as they were Sunday after several days of rain last week.

“We may see some creek rise a little bit, may see a little bit of standing water on the roadways, but I don’t anticipate roads being closed or access has been closed or anything," Tatum said.

Something else that may help Cunningham Tire is the work VDOT did Tuesday and Wednesday to clean out culverts.

Clark was hopeful that will prevent flooding, but it’s no guarantee.

“With all the debris that’s already on top of the ground now, additional water could cause them to clog back up," Clark said.

In the meantime, he’ll try to prepare as best he can.

Clark said the plan, weather permitting of course, was to be back open for business Friday.


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