Floyd '99 at NWS Wakefield, VA

Hurricane Floyd (or maybe we should rename it hurricane "Flood") drenched much of Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland with roughly 8.00" to over 16.00" of rain, in addition to numerous downed trees and power lines.  Many roads were turned into whitewater rapids, or were just plain washed out!  Some of us at NWS Wakefield were stranded at the office for several days, while others drove over 100 miles to find alternate routes to work (or home).  Some of these long treks were quite treacherous, and long (2-3 hours of driving), as we drove through deep, rapidly moving water, only to reach deeper water further down some roads.

It must be stated that we do not recommend ANYONE drive through water of unknown depth. However, as NWS meteorologists, we accept that we may have to endure some risks during our commutes to and from the office due to the nature of our jobs, to provide the critical forecasts, warnings, and weather information to you, our users.  We have a strong sense of duty, especially during extreme weather situations that affect many people's lives, and we feel obligated to relieve our tired co-workers who have been stranded for great lengths of time.  It is our own individual judgement whether we are taking too much of a risk to get to work or home, as it would be a larger problem (to the family and the office) if the individual lost their life.  In fact many of us had to turn back on many roads, when we encountered, in our judgement, too much water to drive through.

The scenes around our office and throughout the region are truly devastating, and we offer some pictures of the scenes within a mile or so of the office. Click on the thumnail images to enlarge.  Here is the official NWS Wakefield Post Storm Report on Floyd.

    
These four were taken by senior forecaster Wayne Albright, when the heavy rain was ending.


    
These four were taken by our DAPM Fay Crossley on Friday 9/17 near and just east of the Virginia Diner.  The first picture shows water over Rt. 460.  Note in the second picture, the basketball hoop in the distance.  The water was nearly to the backboard, which was at least 7 feet above the ground!  The Virginia Diner had to put the furniture outside to dry after the flooding!


  

These three were provided by one of our meteorologist interns, Tim Armstrong.  These were taken on the office grounds as the rain was ending on 9/16.  The fallen tree was less than a mile northwest of the office.



Roger Boger in Waverly took these pictures of a huge tree uprooted onto main street.  Roger says he was without power and telephone for several days because of the downed power lines seen in the pictures.  Click on the image to enlarge, and read Roger's captions.  Thank you very much for the pictures, Roger!
Consider these pictures copyright 1999 by Roger Boger.  Any reproduction or use of Roger's pictures without his written consent is unauthorized.  Please e-mail Roger Boger, for his consent.


   

Kevin Michalek of the Petersburg Fire Department supplied these impressive photos.  The first was taken around the Rt. 460/Wagner Road interchange.  The second picture shows 2 cars that tried to cross the overflowing creek in front of them.  The people had to be rescued off the top of their cars!  The third picture shows a flooded business in the 2500 block of South Crater Road.  The fourth picture was taken at an apartment complex, where the 1st floor was flooded due to a nearby lake overflowing.
   
These four pictures were taken during the Virginia Emergency Services Task Force deployment in the city of Franklin, September 16-20, 1999.  Needless to say, this was a truly disasterous record flood in Franklin!

Thank you very much for the pictures Kevin!
Consider these pictures copyright 1999 by Kevin Michalek.  Any reproduction or use of Kevin's pictures without his written consent is unauthorized.  Please e-mail Kevin Michalek, for his consent.


The above image is a visible satellite picture, enhanced to highlight flooded areas.  Dark blue areas are flooded, you can see the "veins" throughout the area where many rivers and creeks are well out of their banks.  Note the area in Sussex County where I-95 and Rt. 460 were flooded, extending into Southampton County.  Also note the flooding on the Gates/Hertford County line as well as southern Chesapeake to Pasquotank and Camden Counties in the dismal swamp. Of course, some degree of the flooding in other counties/cities can be seen, but with some difficulty.  For a more detailed satellite picture of the flooding, click here.

Click here and here for satellite pictures from NASA, showing the run-off of organic material into the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds as well as the North Carolina Atlantic Coast.

Please e-mail Neil Stuart for comments, questions, or additional .jpeg/.jpg images you may have. We would like to post more pictures of flooding or significant tree damage.

***Please visit this page during the coming days and weeks for additional damage pictures, radar and satellite pictures, and a storm summary.***