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Storm closes 84 roads

2013_01_31_River_Flooding1.jpg
Lynn Penland and her daughter Shaniah, 2, cross the footbridge at Deer Rapids on Thursday afternoon near Strasburg. Flood waters covered the bridge and residents were forced to use the footbridge to cross the Shenandoah River. Rich Cooley/Daily


By Joe Beck

The storm that pounded the Northern Shenandoah Valley Wednesday night and early Thursday morning closed dozens of roads and forced the cancellation of public school classes in Shenandoah County.

Local police reported no serious accidents attributable to the high winds and heavy rain, but the Virginia Department of Transportation counted a total of 84 roads closed due to flooding at one time or another as a result of the storm.

"We were expecting some flooding," said Cliff Balderson, administrator for VDOT's Edinburg residency covering Clarke, Shenandoah, Warren and Frederick Counties. "I think the number of roads closed was greater than we had anticipated."

Balderson said flooding damaged one road that state officials hope to have repaired within a few days. The region still had 79 roads closed as of mid-morning and 47 as of mid-afternoon, according to VDOT.

Balderson said all of the damage came from flooding,

"I'm sure there was debris that came from the water, but I didn't hear of any trees that fell during the wind," he said.

The VDOT data showed Shenandoah County with a total of 48 road closures followed by 20 in Warren and 16 in Frederick counties.

A winter weather advisory remained in effect for the region as of mid-afternoon Thursday.

The National Weather Service warned of areas in Fauquier County and West Virginia that remained vulnerable to flooding.

The forecast called for a slight chance of snow showers between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday with partly sunny skies and a high of 29. Winds of 18 to 22 mph with gusts up to 39 mph are also predicted.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com


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