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Moderate flooding forecast for James River

Posted at 6:35 PM, May 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-18 18:36:29-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Flood waters swept through Virginia as a constant feed of moisture moved up from the Bahamas; schools closed, roads were swept away and river levels began climbing.

The James River is currently registering almost 11 feet at the Westham station. Flood stage is 12 feet. With water rushing downriver, the James is expected to crest above 15 feet by 5 p.m. on Sunday. That will push levels into moderate flood stage.

CBS 6 Chief Meteorologist Zach Daniel said the river could be higher on Sunday than it has been in more than 8 years.

Periods of heavy rain will continue through Saturday, although rain chances extend over the next few days.

The Meherrin River is currently at nine feet and the height is expected to crest around 25 feet by Sunday. The Meherrin River originates on the Lunenburg-Mecklenburg County line in Virginia and flows southeasterly through the coastal piedmont into Emporia Reservoir.

When water levels are at nine feet or above, no one is allowed on the James River. Emergency officials and river experts advised Richmonders to avoid the water  because of dangerous runoff and debris in the raging river.

Follow CBS 6 coverage of May flooding, by clicking here to see all news and weather stories.