As James River levels rise dangerously high, officials warn of ‘new danger’

Posted at 1:28 PM, Sep 19, 2018

RICHMOND, Va. -- Days after Florence made landfall and miles from the storm's center, the City of Richmond is still feeling the impact with dangerous water levels along the James River.

Monday several tornadoes ripped through the region, destroying buildings, homes and leaving one man dead. Water from the James River could be seen rushing on Wednesday.

 James River

James River

Capt. Raymond Neville with Richmond Fire's Water and Rescue team said water levels rose from six and a half feet to 15 feet in just 24 hours.

Neville said this year alone there were five different instances where river levels have crested to record-level highs, which adds to call volumes.

"We're up to 143 calls this year. We’ve saved 86 people of those 143 calls," said Neville. He added in years prior they typically see between 80 to 90 calls. "We’ve almost doubled our numbers this year."

 Capt. Raymond Neville

Capt. Raymond Neville

Neville said too often people get in or near the water and find themselves in a dangerous situation.

"They walk out to watch the water or to see what’s going on with the flooding and the next thing they know they’re overwhelmed. The rock that they came out on is now covered with water," said Neville. "The amount of debris that’s coming down is a new danger. Even the recreational people that go down all the time will stay off the river this time of year and after a major flood like this."

Click here for the latest James River levels forecast from the National Weather Service. 



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