ROANOKE, Va. – Those of you that were around here in November of 1985 know that flood to be the benchmark rain event in the Roanoke Valley. Those of you who weren’t got just a little taste of what that was like this past week.
From Monday through Thursday, the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport recorded 9.06″ of rain. In early November of 1985, that reading was 9.99″.
This, for Roanoke, is the second-wettest four-day stretch of weather we’ve had since that benchmark flood.
What makes the two different is that this rain was evenly distributed, whereas 66% of the rain during the Flood of ’85 came in just one day. What makes this week’s rain historic is this.
The Roanoke Valley, in its 108-year history of weather records, has never had three straight days of 2″ of rain.
For those of you who are having a hard time grasping this, let’s put it this way.
After adding a little more rain early Friday morning, the airport has now picked up more than 9.20″ of rain this week. That is way more than the rain totals of Florence and Michael combined in our area.
Let’s take this one step further. Let’s imagine that all that rain in the City of Roanoke fell into Olympic-sized swimming pools. That rainfall would fill up more than 10,000 of them!
Why just keep this limited to Roanoke, though? The National Weather Service in Blacksburg tweeted an estimated rainfall map from this rain event.
Major flooding ongoing across the region as a result of excessive rainfall the past couple of days. Near 10 inches of rainfall in parts of the Roanoke area. Many locations with 5-9 inches. Additional rain expected today, with thunderstorms possible this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/yxbkgSTvtC— NWS Blacksburg (@NWSBlacksburg) May 22, 2020
By taking the average rainfall of each county/city and by taking their acreage, we are able to calculate the gallons of water that fell.
What this shows is that approximately 1.5 million Olympic-sized swimming pools could be filled with all the rain that fell in the entire 10 News viewing area.