UPDATE: Roanoke River Receding, July 4 Events Still On

River receding Thursday afternoon

Update 2 p.m.:

Roanoke, VA - City officials have decided to proceed as planned with the Fourth of July events Thursday night at River's Edge.

Event organizers met earlier to discuss whether or not to cancel the July 4 events after heavy rains.


Update 10:30 a.m.:

Roanoke, VA - Fortunately, the Roanoke River is receding but Wednesday night, the water overflowed its banks leading to evacuations and some vehicle rescues in Roanoke and Salem.

James Dewyer came out for an early morning run at the green way off Franklin Road.

"There's usually a 5 foot wide concrete path and there are trees and flowers and bushes, kind of like a park but it's just under water right now," said Dewyer.

That was at 6 am.

"I'll probably turn around and head home because I'm not here to swim."

At 8 a.m., more runners showed up. The water receded some, but not enough.

"Last night I picked my son up from a movie and it was already going underwater, so I was afraid this might happen," said Barry Thornton.

About 400 people signed up to participate in a 4 mile race on the greenway, but it was canceled.

Thornton and his son had been training for the race for months.

"I was very disappointed."

Overnight, Roanoke Fire and EMS kept busy. Their swift water rescue team helped numerous people who got trapped in their cars after driving over flooded roadways near Peters Creek Road. Thornton wishes the rain would subside and let things get back to normal.

"I know the organizers were making a lot of efforts to re-route the race, but there's only so much you can do when things flood so quick," said Thornton.

City officials are meeting with organizers of the Fourth of July celebration in Roanoke at the River's Edge Sports Complex. They're assessing the condition of the fields and streets to see if the event will go on as planned. That decision will be made at about 2 p.m. Thursday.


Roanoke, VA - Several roads are closed in Roanoke Thursday morning after the Roanoke River overflowed its banks.

The river at one point rose three feet in just one hour. The river was forecast to crest slightly above flood stage, but as rains continued to fall overnight, the National Weather Service continued to up the crest forecast.

Flood waters has been steadily declining throughout the morning. Drivers should still be careful while driving near the river, as some roadways may still have water on them.

Roanoke Fire / EMS spokesperson Tiffany Bradbury said their swift water rescue team had performed a number of rescues from people trapped in their vehicles.

Bradbury advised that Bennington Street, Reserve Avenue and South Roanoke would continue to be flooded into Thursday morning, and asked motorists to avoid the areas if possible.