According to the National Weather Service, areas in western Franklin County received up to 8 inches of rain between late Thursday and 5 p.m. Sunday, prompting at least one swift water rescue and causing many roadways to be flooded.
Around 10 a.m. Saturday, Callaway Fire-Rescue volunteers and Franklin County Public Safety (FCPS) responded to a vehicle that was washed off Callaway Road by rushing water.
Patrick Meeks, Fire Training Coordinator with Franklin County Public Safety said by the time their crews arrived Callaway volunteers as well as local farmers had already assisted the driver and used tractors to pull the vehicle to higher ground. A tow truck arrived after 2 p.m. to remove the vehicle from the roadside. The driver reported no injuries.
FCPS staged two rescue teams: one in Callaway and one in Rocky Mount. Meanwhile, Callaway Fire and Rescue enacted its flood-staging plan and requested the Virginia Department of Transportation to assist with road closures.
“We were ready to go,” Meeks said.
Responders also requested dispatch contact the school district regarding flood gates and sandbags for Callaway Elementary School. However, school officials said sandbags were not required and no flooding occurred at the school.
More than 30 road closures due to flooding or downed trees were reported by VDOT Saturday, June 8, and as rain continued to fall into Monday, a handful remained closed.
Belinda Hodges, Chief of Operations for FCPS, said there were some single-vehicle crashes over the weekend believed to be weather related, but no injuries were reported. Meeks said he believed most people stayed home.
Many weekend events were rained out due to the inclement weather, including Community Partnership’s Court Days. The organization posted the announcement on its Facebook account around 8:30 a.m. Saturday.
“This was a very hard decision to make and we were trying very hard to make the event happen. So many vendors and performers had to cancel we felt this was the best decision,” the post read.
There is no rain date for the event, but the cooking demonstration by Southwest Virginia Culinary Ambassador Charles Parker went on as planned. Parker made omelets with fresh ingredients from the Rocky Mount Farmer’s Market including chorizo, eggs and chard. A bake-off, which was scheduled as part of Court Days, also moved ahead with six contestants who baked coconut cakes, pound cake, oatmeal cream pies, and apple cake.
A few blocks away, Franklin County Historical Society’s Veterans Memorial Day Living History Encampment was dampened as the Civil War soldiers were unable to set up their campsites due to the heavy rain, but the event continued with nearly 50 attending to honor Franklin County veterans.