Cleaning Up After Radford Flooding
Radford, VA - Flooding saturated communities along the New River Thursday. The river peaked at more than 21 feet at one time, which is 7 feet above flood stage.
Many people were directly affected by the flood including the officers down at the animal shelter as they worked to bring 21 animals back following their precautionary evacuation.
It's stressful enough for a pet to have to wait at the shelter for a new family - let alone being quickly packed up and moved in order to avoid rising flood water.
"Thankfully Dr. Lawrence at West End Animal Clinic is awesome to us and she made arrangements for our animals to go up there," said Adele Katrovitz, a Radford Animal Control officer.
The shelter never flooded, but right next door at the Dedmon Center, things didn't work out so well.
Dozens of students needed to wait until daylight to find out what kind of damage they were facing considering all of these vehicles, just a few hours before, were completely under water.
"I just started crying because I did not know what was going to happen. I didn't want my Mom to be mad at me. All that good stuff," said Lena Kurdi, a freshman at Radford. "It wasn't as bad as I thought. I was just thankful my car didn't hit cars... run into other cars just like those."
Concerned about vandals and looters, university officials ordered that the parking lot be fenced off until insurance adjusters can get to town and the vehicles can be moved.
Cleanup will be slow going at the city's parks as well. Bissett Park, most of which ended up under water, is now filled with sediment that has since frozen.
The concern over what is in that sediment has forced leaders to close the park until it is cleaned up and deemed safe, which is what has already happened at the shelter.
"We were very lucky everything came together and it went without a hitch," said Katrovitz.
Thursday's river level at Radford was 21.13 feet, just 6/10 of an inch below the fourth highest recorded river level in that city. The record is 35.96 feet, which is 12 feet above flood stage. That happened in 1940.