James River Flooding Reminds Lynchburg Residents of '85 Flood

Lynchburg, VA - The James River is the highest it's been in quite a while. Parts of our area, especially downtown Lynchburg, really have to watch out for flooding.

Griffin Pipe has seen its fair share of floods. The big one everyone talks about was back in 1985. In fact, a marker commemorates that horrific flood.

All day Wednesday, people stopped by the spot to see if this one would be as bad.

Donald Austin makes a pit stop for a peek at the James.

"Somebody says, 'Donald, you need to go look at your truck. You got water coming up.'"

Austin works at Griffin Pipe and has for almost five decades. He's seen it all.

Sure, the water's drawing a crowd. But this storm doesn't stack up to past floods.

The great flood of '85 wreaked havoc on Griffin Pipe.

"My son and I came up Commerce Street and the buildings were pretty much covered. I just remember standing up there saying dad needs to find another job," said Austin.

David Hoffman's not too worked up about this storm.

"Not a lot of worry at all. Just follow our process and make the changes we need to make to adapt to the situation," he said.

Spoken like a true director of operations. Griffin had crews move the most flood-prone equipment to higher ground.

The Holcomb Rock Observation Station upstream from Griffin Pipe gives water levels and alerts. And no matter what the James decides to do, Griffin Pipe says it will weather this storm too.

"As far as getting guys back in to get them doing what we need to do to get it running, we don't have a problem with that," said Austin.

The rising water is affecting some of our bike trails. Parts of the Point of Honor Trail, the Blackwater Creek Bikeway and RiverWalk will be closed through 7:30 a.m. Thursday. Percival's Island is completely closed for now.