Blackwater River could crest 16 to 20 feet by next Tuesday

Published 5:11 pm Tuesday, September 11, 2018


Information provided to the City of Franklin by Virginia Department of Emergency Management and Wakefield Weather Service personnel indicates there is a potential for the Blackwater River near Franklin to crest next Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 16 to 20 feet.

Hurricane Florence has not yet made up its mind where it is going or what it is going to do,” said Capt. Tim Dunn, spokesman for Franklin Fire and Rescue. “This creates lots of different scenarios of what impacts we might receive.

Whenever we hear ‘hurricane,’ there is a tendency to wonder if this is going to be another Floyd. We have received the very first report on the potential impact with the Blackwater River and feel the information should be shared but with the caution that the report is based on the Global Forecast System models, which would be considered a worst case scenario at this time.

It is a best reasonable guesstimation at this point and subject to change depending on the track of Florence. Please use this information for planning purposes but expect revisions in the information as circumstances change.

As we monitor the situation and wait to see what happens we want to give this information to our residents and business owners. The advanced hydrologic prediction service records historical data and forecast/predicts water levels in rivers — they show information that would help us see where this level of water could relate to your situation. In October of 2006, the flooding that occurred in Franklin reached a level of 21.6 feet. In October of 2016 the river level reached 15.5 feet.

These recent flooding events may help you determine the level of flooding to expect with a forecast of 16 to 20 feet and we hope that you use this information to plan your needs for the next week. We do not expect the flooding level that occurred in September of 1999 (25.11 feet.)

The information provided to us is a prediction and we want to make sure that all of our citizens continue to watch the weather forecast and stay tuned to our local news releases. Check the city PEG channel on charter cable or the City of Franklin website for information. We will also place information, if needed on the news outlets such as WAVY(channel 10), WVEC (channel 3,) WTKR(channel 13,) The Tidewater News website and WLQM radio (101.7 FM.)

For further information, contact Franklin Fire and Rescue at 562-8590.