- Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 September 2011 00:00
- Published on Wednesday, 14 September 2011 00:00
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Strands motorists in King George, Westmoreland
Inspecting the damage where the bridge on Rt. 205 at Rosier Creek has been washed away.
Erosion at Colonial Beach after the deluge.
Law enforcement stopped traffic on Route 3 near the Westmoreland/King George county line.
Torrential rainfall over the past week took out two main road arteries connecting King George County to Westmoreland County as portions of both State Rt. 3 and Rt. 205 (Ridge
Rd.) were washed out by the more than 11 inches of rain that fell on the area. There were no injuries or deaths reported but there were several calls of assistance made to local fire and rescue personnel to help stranded motorists.
A rescue of a man stranded on his vehicle on Rappahannock Rd. near the Westmoreland Berry Farm was made by Kyle Neer, a former member of the King George Volunteer Fire Department, and three of his friends.
“We were just out looking at the damage,” Neer said, “when we came upon the car and the man.”
The victim, Derek Wise, was on his way returning from work during the downpour when a flooded area washed his SUV off the road and into the woods.
“He was standing on top of the hood of his car when we came by and we were lucky to spot him,” said Neer. “I could see immediately his problem so I got a rope from my car and we tied one end to a tree and tied the other end to me. Then I took another rope and handed the end to my three friends then went in upstream and let the current take me to him and got it around (Wise). Then we pulled him out.”
The rain closed many businesses and kept county residents home from work.
Schools were closed in both of the counties after the week of flash floods as well as the Naval Support Facility Dahlgren where many of Westmoreland residents work. Rt. 205 was completely washed away at Rosier Creek near the Ridge Road basket shop and county line that separates King George from Colonial Beach.
The chasm, which resulted from the pressure of water fueled by the inundation, was more than 15-feet across and some 10 feet deep. State Rt. 3 suffered nearly the same fate near Flat Iron and it isolated traffic on the important throughway coming from Montross and other parts of Westmoreland County. For more than 24 hours Colonial Beach was completely cut off by the flooded and washed out roads, except for a back passage way in from Rt. 628, Pamora Rd., to Longfield Rd. and back on Rt. 205.
Construction workers worked furiously through Friday night to restore passage through the vital highway. A temporary patch was made on Ridge Rd. as workers dumped a massive amount of fill into the breach and packed it down with gravel.
According to Westmoreland Sheriff C.O. Balderson, “VDOT (Virginia Department of Transportation) remained busy “throughout the night” also to get Rt. 3 back in shape.
“There are a lot of places that were pretty devastated by the storm,” Balderson said.
Signs were also erected by VDOT to direct traffic to detour routes.
As of the beginning of this week there were still many routes still remaining that needed repair from the unusual amount of rainfall. Included are portions of Rt. 602 and 624 in King George and more than a dozen routes in Westmoreland County Colonial Beach Police Chief Kenny Blevin said that his town was dealing with the flooded area “pretty well.”
“We had several calls from people and our fire department responded to get them,” he said, adding that a couple of people remained at the police station overnight to wait out the flood.
“There is a lot of standing water left … a lot of lots flooded but we didn’t have anyone seriously hurt, thank goodness,” Blevin said.
In the greater Colonial Beach area Placid Bay Estates was especially hard hit by the storm as two dams in the neighborhood were breached by the floodwaters and another pair of dams significantly damaged. There were also reports of water breaching into several homes in the area.
Colonial Beach’s sandy strand at the Potomac River suffered significant erosion from the abundant amount of rain. From the Riverboat restaurant to the turn toward Monroe Bay, beach erosion was fairly massive as the rains captured much of the sand and deposited it in the river.
The erosion probably will be visible for some time at the beach as the tourist season ends.