City officials, water-enthusiasts watch for impact of raging river

Posted at 1:58 PM, May 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-09 14:14:57-04

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) - You don't have to venture onto the river to be impacted by the raging James.  Already parts of the river are high and with more rain expected it could cause the James to spill over onto roads like Dock Street.

The high water and swift current could be seen earlier today.  As water-enthusiasts ventured out, they said they were still being mindful of hidden dangers.

"People realize that that [being on the river] looks dangerous but [they say] 'I can get one step closer and I'm still okay,'" Ben Moore with Riverside Outfitters said.  "But that one step when it's slippery can quickly lead to a situation when you fall in."

City officials said they have a flood plan in place, but they did not anticipate having to put the plan into place today. If flooding were to take place, some of the area's flood gates would be closed off around the city.  But the experts don't believe at this time there is an immediate threat for flooding.

"We anticipate it [the river cresting at 11 feet] occurring sometime between four and five this afternoon, " Willie Horton deputy director of the city's Department of Public Utilities said. "That is not high enough for us to activate closures on the gates."

The higher water may be to blame for three people having to be rescued from the James River Wednesday night.  Boats searched for them in the water close to South 10th Street after 10:00 p.m. The three people were pulled to safety from the water near Haxall Point.