Significant flooding unlikely with Earl

Published 10:01 am Wednesday, September 1, 2010

FRANKLIN—Officials don’t expect Hurricane Earl to bring significant flooding to Western Tidewater.

Mike Montefusco, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Wakefield office, said if Hurricane Earl follows the forecasted track, it could possibly cause some coastal flooding, but inland flooding is not likely.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Blackwater River near Franklin stood at 1.85 feet, according to the NWS. Flood stage is 12 feet.

Franklin officials met Tuesday to discuss preparations for Earl. They are continuing to monitor the situation, but don’t expect any major impacts from Earl at this point—showers and some gusty winds are possible Friday.

“As always, this is a forecast and the situation is being closely monitored by city officials,” according to a notice the city sent out Tuesday afternoon.

Bill Spieldenner, a spokesman for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, said flooding is always a concern with tropical systems.

“Historically in Virginia most of our problems have come from problems inland … flooding is usually the big issue we have from these storms,” he said.

Spieldenner suggests that families keep important documents protected, designate a meeting place and have an out-of-town contact that everyone in the family knows to call and check-in.

“Kids might be at school, parents might be at different workplaces…make sure people know what they’re supposed to do,” he said.

He also warned against trying to drive on flooded roadways.

“It doesn’t take much water covering the roadway to move a vehicle,” Spieldenner said.

While Earl may not pose a huge threat, Spieldenner said, it’s important to be prepared.