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Danville, VA Local Government News and Announcements

Posted on: April 3, 2019

National Weather Service seeks flood stage input

Turn around, don't drown graphic

The National Weather Service in Blacksburg is seeking public comment on proposed changes to flood stage categories for the Dan River in Danville.

The changes, which are scheduled to take effect on May 15, are needed because recent flood events show that the current categories do not accurately reflect flood impacts.

Every river forecast point has four critical flood stage levels, which the National Weather Service defines as follows:

  • Action stage: River level at the point when reached that preparations should be considered for the possibility of flooding.
  • Minor flood stage: River level at which point reached minimal or no property damage occurs, but possibly some public threat, such as inundation of streets.
  • Moderate flood stage: River level at which point reached that some inundation of structures and streets occurs near the river channel. Some evacuations or people and transfer of property to higher elevations may be required.
  • Major flood stage: River level at which point reached that extensive inundation of structures and streets occurs, with significant evacuations of people and transfer of property to higher elevations.

For Danville, the new flood stage categories will be as follows:

  • For the action stage, 18 feet above gage zero. Currently, the level is 15 feet.
  • For minor flooding, 21 feet above gage zero, which would be equivalent to a two- to five-year flood event. Currently, the level is 17 feet.
  • For moderate flooding, 26 feet above gage zero, which would be equivalent to a 10-year flood event. Currently, the level is 20.5 feet.
  • For major flooding, 32 feet above gage zero, which would be equivalent to a 50-year flood event. Currently, the level is 25.5 feet.

Danville’s gaging station was moved to its current location at the wastewater treatment plant in 1996. Since that move, the highest river level recorded at that gaging station was 30.01 feet on Oct. 12, 2018, following Tropical Storm Michael.

The previous high was 28.65 feet set on Sept. 7, 1996, following Hurricane Fran.

For more information, visit https://www.weather.gov/rnk/DanRiver_Danville.

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