5:21 PM EST, January 31, 2013
The Roanoke River crested early Thursday afternoon and is now receding.
The water is on it's way back down and is expected to fall below flood stage, but not soon enough for people living along the river.
The sound of basement water pumps drowned out the roar of the Roanoke River on Thursday.
The creeks feeding it receded first, allowing work crews to remove debris. They also cleared roads in and out of neighborhoods.
Those that had the day off watched the water from a safe distance, searching for landmarks that had disappeared in the night.
"I figured you'd be able to see a bump of where the bridge should be or something. I wasn't expecting all of this," Roanoke resident Irene Johnson said.
Neither was the Fuhrman family. They went to bed and awoke to find the Roanoke River right at their doorstep.
Down the road, the River Rock bar and grill was flooded, just days before the big Super Bowl crowd. Even with the muddy mess, this time, they consider themselves lucky.
"We didn't get it nearly as bad. In ‘85 it took the front off the building, we were out of business for 3 or 4 months," Penny Price said
At one point the Roanoke River was rising at one foot per hour.
We have gotten word Thursday evening that the bridge on Walnut Ave. at 5th street has reopened. It may take the rest of the night before the water fully recedes.
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