Debris clutters James River

Posted at 12:55 PM, May 10, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-10 12:55:20-04

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) -- Flooding the past few days has been an issue, but some are keeping an eye on not necessarily what you see but what's underneath the surface--debris.  Emergency crews warn debris will not only collect and create a backup, but it can turn the James River into more of a danger zone.

The James has already swallowed walking paths.  The river is also to blame for picking up trash, logs and in some cases entire trees, washing them downstream.

"There is stuff that is coming from up river and heading on down to the Chesapeake Bay and splitting off from the two rivers," Richmond resident and river-enthusiast Robert Lee West said.

When you combine the accumulated debris with the fast-moving currents, an already dangerous situation can quickly go from bad to worse.

"It's dangerous, you have to be very experienced," West said.  "Even the best swimmers can drown in this type of water."

Emergency crews are urging everyone to stay out of the river until it returns to normal.