A Look at a Flooded City

This is the bridge between Wasena Park and Vic Thomas Park.
The flooded Roanoke River from the Wasena Bridge.

I simply could not resist jumping into Daisy (my VW Bug) a little while ago and taking a trip around Roanoke to see just how serious the flooding is. The only indication I had beforehand was the water in my flood-prone basement. There was a good bit.

But it wasn’t anywhere near the levels near the Roanoke River and various streams in the Roanoke Valley where flooding was the norm. Most dramatically, I think, was the water around Roanoke Memorial Hospital. It looked eerily similar to the Flood of 1985, when the hospital was inundated. When I was at RMH, the water had not made it to the lobby, but it was close and the rain was coming down hard.

Downtown Roanoke, which was badly hit during ’85 had no flooding that I saw, including intersections that used to be prone to overfill from the drains. It appears to me that all the flood work that has been done in the past 35 years is having some very real rewards in this flood.

Here are some photos I took, including one from the Mill Mountain Star. You couldn’t exactly call it a “view.”

Downtown Roanoke was wet, but not flooded.
Children normally play here in Wasena Park. Not today.
Roanoke River in Wasena Park. The river actually runs to the right and the left is the flood reduction cut.
Parking lot near the Wasena playground.
Vic Thomas Park bridge is at the right, partially underwater.
My buddy Marj Easterling’s Big Lick Screen Printing, near the river, is being flooded again, I’m afraid.
The river is lapping at the front door of Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
Roanoke Memorial and its river.
The lower middle part of this photo shows the Roanoke River Greenway underwater. The structure in the center is the top of a swing.
This is the “view” from Mill Mountain, overlooking downtown Roanoke.
Electrical workers restore power near Franklin Road.


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