Residents evacuated from Ramada Inn as Roanoke River rises

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) -- With the Roanoke River continuing to rise Thursday afternoon, and expected to crest at major flood stage about 2 a.m. Friday, city officials have started evacuating people from the Ramada Inn on Franklin Road, next to the river.

WDBJ7 photo of activity outside the Ramada Inn in Roanoke

The inn has been in use as a home for the homeless during the coronavirus pandemic.

Residents of thirteen homes near the Spring Valley Dam were told to evacuate early Thursday due to flooding concerns after days of constant rain.

Residents were alerted by Reverse E-911 calls along with police and fire department personnel going door to door to ask residents to move to higher ground.

The city also evacuated about 100 people in southeast Roanoke, saying evacuations are not mandatory, but strongly urged.

City officials say these kinds of evacuations are rare for the city. The American Red Cross has been utilizing hotel rooms for people who have been evacuated.

Roads closed in City of Roanoke due to flooding

The city has brought in a GSI mapping specialist to help anticipate the flood threat to map it out for potential evacuations.

The following areas are affected:

-3600 block of Cravens Creek Rd., SW to the 4000 block of Cravens Creek Rd., SW
-4000 block of Lake Dr.SW
-1400 block of Deyerle Rd., SW
-4000-4100 block of Brandon Ave., SW

Residents in this affected are advised to:

1. Evacuate now and go to higher ground outside the flood plain.

2. Gather supplies and leave immediately. Determine you and your family's specific needs such as medication, baby items, etc. Don't forget the needs of pets. Obtain extra batteries and charging devices for phones and other critical equipment.

3. Keep important documents in a waterproof container and take them with you.

4. Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters.

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