Cleanup after the flood
WOODSTOCK — Waterlogged Woodstock continued to feel the effects of flooding with more than 119 people waiting for a signal Tuesday that they could return to their homes more than a day after heavy rains forced their evacuations.
Several hard hit businesses were also in the midst of cleanup and beginning to recover from damage inflicted by the rising waters.
Meanwhile, the National Weather Service forecast more rain Tuesday night, and a storm with potentially heavy rains closed in from Star Tannery in the early evening.
The 74 residents of the Greenfield of Woodstock assisted living center remained at the Comfort Inn.
Another 45 residents from the Wood Park Lane trailer park who were taken to the Peter Muhlenberg Middle School late Monday morning were still waiting for clearance to return to their homes. Public safety officials cited dangers posed by submerged electrical boxes and fuel oil and kerosene leakage among their reasons for ordering the evacuation of the trailer park.
Shenandoah County Fire Chief Gary Yew said he was hopeful that the Greenfield residents would be returning soon.
“Those residents are not back in the facility as of yet,” Yew said. “We anticipate that happening tomorrow.”
Yew said Wood Park Lane residents must await the completion of inspections of their trailers to determine whether and when they can safely return.
“Plus, we also have some storm water management issues that have to be resolved before we can safely allow people back in,” Yew said.
Tim Ferguson, a senior building inspector with the county, said he saw five trailers at Wood Park Lane “that had pretty significant damage to their electrical systems” caused by submerged boxes. Ferguson said he also saw “a lot of fuel tanks” displaced at the park.
Several roads were still under repair. The Virginia Department of Transportation said Va. 763 in Shenandoah County would remain closed until a drainage pipe damaged by the flood is repaired. The road is scheduled to reopen by 5 p.m. Thursday, assuming the weather does not interfere with repairs.
In the meantime, VDOT is asking northbound drivers to take a detour following Va. 605 to Va. 623 and then Va. 676 and back to Va. 763. Southbound drivers should follow Va. 676 to Va. 623 and then Va. 605 back to Va. 763.
The Spring House Tavern at 325 S. Main St. remained closed while manager Kristin Bibb and a group of employees cleaned up a dining room where water damaged a wood floor and the back parking lot where the surface was cracked open into deep crevices in several places.
The parking lot was also damaged three years ago during flooding from Hurricane Sandy and on other occasions, Bibb said.
“This is the worst I’ve ever seen it exposed,” Bibb said of a giant culvert that lay where the parking lot surface had split open.
Despite the damage, Bibb was confident the damage could be repaired quicker than the wood floor inside.
“This will be the easiest to fix,” Bibb said of the parking lot. “Just grade it and put gravel down.”
Bibb said owner Anthony Andriola was also grateful for community volunteers and regular customers who have pitched in with the cleanup.
She read a Monday post from the restaurant’s Facebook page, part of which says:
“So many of you offered so many things to us in our time of need that we could never thank you enough. The real heroes of the day were our staff who stamped through mud and rising water to come to work today just to help clean up and get us closer back in action.”
For Bobby Grubbs, owner of the Chevrolet dealership next to Woodpark Lane on U.S. 11, Monday was a painful replay of 2012 when he lost eight cars to Hurricane Sandy flood waters. This time, Grubbs lost seven used cars and a tractor in the back lot, all of which are now destined for a salvage yard.
Grubbs described the scene when he arrived at the dealership Monday morning to check on his inventory for the second time after nothing seemed amiss on an earlier visit during the downpour.
“It looked like somebody took a fire hose and filled that back lot,” Grubbs said. “It came that fast. It blew my mind.”
Barbara Kesser, owner of Spring Hollow Antiques at 322 S. Main St., across from the Spring Hollow Tavern, said the water overflowed the banks of adjoining Spring Hollow Run and came racing over a stone wall separating her property from the stream.
The water receded in early afternoon and left behind a muddy yard where she stood grateful that none of the inventory in her store had been damaged.
“This was one giant lake of brown water, all one level,” Kesser said of the condition of her yard in the hours after the flood.
Humans were not the only ones affected by the flood. Kesser said she watched a male duck frantically search for his mate after the current separated them.
“The male was just panicked, poor thing, but they found each other in the afternoon,” Kesser said.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or email@example.com