Flooding closes schools, roads throughout the New River Valley

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MONTGOMERY CO., Va. (WDBJ7) Floods forced several roads to close throughout our region. One of the most impacted areas is in the New River Valley.

Small creeks turned into raging rivers and buried fields. Some driveways are washed out and roads are impossible to cross making it a challenge to drive anywhere.

The flooding closed five school systems in the New River Valley including in Montgomery County.

Rushing water crossed the road Monday morning - cutting off access to homes and keeping people away from work.

Montgomery County Schools made the decision to stay safe rather than take a chance.

"The number of road closures and the amount of roads that had water rising sort of to the edge, hadn't yet crested, really created the need for us to be safe," said Brenda Drake, with the Montgomery County Schools.

The day off for flooding isn't rare. This time even typically heavily traveled roads were closed.

"There are road closures in Blacksburg and in the town of Christiansburg," Drake said.

School leaders throughout the New River Valley knew the decision had to made early this morning when they encountered this - creeks that turned into rivers flowing over roads instead of underneath them.

We've said it so often it's a cliche now, don't drive through flooded roads.
While WDBJ7 was getting video of closed roads some drivers ignored signs and kept on going.

"It's not your smartest decision, and it will probably be one of your most costly decisions," said Neal Turner, the Montgomery County Emergency Services director.

It's a sight that makes first responders cringe - The signs are clear - Road Closed High Water. Still drivers take a chance.

"Turn around, don't drown is a real, real good tip. We have people that will try to cross through what we've got right now. Those are often the people we're called in to rescue," Turner said.

Other drivers stopped to take a picture of the rare views, then turned around.

Dozens of roads were closed throughout the New River Valley Monday. Flowing creeks turned into rushing rivers and fields - into large lakes. The water crept up to back doors and forced livestock to find higher ground.
Several days of heavy rains caused creeks to rise and cross roads and in some cases damage them throughout the New River Valley.

"Potholes that were a couple of feet across yesterday are now three or four feet across and have gotten deeper," Turner said.

Rain totals have varied through our region. The most eye-catching was in Carroll County where the National Weather Service reports nearly nine inches fell in Woodlawn.

So much rain fell throughout the New River Valley that five school systems closed for the day.