Hurricane dumps 12 inches of rain

Published 2:34 pm Sunday, August 28, 2011

FRANKLIN—Hurricane Irene dumped 12 inches of rain within 24 hours on Western Tidewater, while the highest wind gusts were 59 mph, National Weather Service Meteorologist James Foster said Sunday.

Sustained winds during the storm were 30 to 40 mph.

A man walks from his truck after getting it stuck in high water while attempting to get onto Route 58 west from Armory Drive. BOB RUDZIK/TIDEWATER NEWS

Rains from the Category 1 hurricane, which skirted the Virginia coastline, started late Friday night and continued all day Saturday as the eye moved over the Outer Banks of North Carolina at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. The rain made some area roads impassible due to flooding.

Area rainfall and rainfall to the northwest caused the Blackwater River near downtown Franklin to rise. The crest is expected to reach 18.1 feet at noon Tuesday, which would put it in the range of moderate flooding, according to NWS predictions.

The flooding will have minimal impact on residents and businesses. Roadways and low-lying areas will be the biggest concerns, said Franklin Fire Capt. Tim Dunn.

Foster said the storm did about what they expected it as it remained offshore when it reached southeastern Virginia.

“It came on shore and affected the area as a Category 1 storm,” Foster said. “The conditions fit in with the general characteristic of a Category 1 storm.”