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By Steven M. Burke
Interim Town Manager
FRONT ROYAL — The Town of Front Royal would like to provide a status update on the condition of the 8th Street, Criser Road, and Prospect Street bridges over Happy Creek.
Our Public Works Department has cleared the debris from the 8th Street bridge and has opened the bridge to traffic.
The bridge inspection of the Criser Road bridge has been completed and determined that it can be opened upon repair of the guardrail and resurfacing of the deck. Our Public Works Department has scheduled these repairs to begin Thursday, April 21 with an anticipated completion on Friday, April 22. Once this work is completed, the Criser Road bridge shall be opened.
The bridge inspection of the Prospect Street bridge could not be completed due to the continued high flow in the creek. Inspection of the center pier for possible scour and erosion will be completed as soon as the creek flow has reduced to a velocity that allows safe inspection of the pier. Inspection of the center pier is anticipated to be possible next week. The Prospect Street bridge will remain closed until the center pier inspection has been completed.
If you have any questions about this matter, please contact the Town at (540) 635-8007.
By Dan McDermott and Roger Bianchini
Warren County Report
FRONT ROYAL–A Front Royal man was fatally electrocuted in an accident Friday, Apr. 15.
Front Royal Police Chief Richard Furr said Aaron W. Bradley, 19 of Guard Hill Rd. in Front Royal, was killed at the intersection of North Shenandoah Ave. and Kendrick Lane. Bradley was in a raised bucket truck when he came into contact with a high voltage wire.
A medivac helicopter was called in but Bradley was pronounced dead in an Advanced Life Support ambulance before he could be airlifted from the nearby Randolph-Macon Academy Middle School soccer field.
Furr said police received a call of a possible electrocution at 3:29 p.m. Bradley was employed by D & E Tree and Landscaping.
FRONT ROYAL–Warren County was placed under a flash flood watch for Saturday storms. Rain began falling around daybreak and turned to heavy rain during the morning around 10:30 AM. Steady rain fell, accompanied by thunderstorms occurring around 3PM began to push streams and creeks out of their banks and soon across roadways.
Around 3PM in the afternoon, the first of approximately 60 calls for service began pouring in to the Warren County Communications Center. While most of these calls were for motor vehicle accidents, Fire and Rescue units responded to approximately 20 calls for vehicles submerged in the water. Many of these occupants became trapped but self rescued, fire units made two rescues from stranded vehicles.
Fire and Rescue and law enforcement units were also kept busy with flooded roads and streets. At one point in the afternoon, there was no way out of Front Royal to the east, except Interstate 66, as Happy Creek Road and John Marshal Highways were flooded and closed.
Unofficially, the County received more than 3 inches of rain in some areas and was spared the blunt of lightning and winds of area thunderstorms. Damage estimates are ongoing, but the Town sustained damage to two very important bridges; Prospect Street bridge and the Criser Road bridge.
While flash flood waters have receded, attention now is focused on the Shenandoah River flooding. River level is still rising but is expected to crest around 17’ in Front Royal where flood stage is 12’. This is considered the low end of a major flood for the South Fork.
By Steven M. Burke
Interim Town Manager
FRONT ROYAL–The Town of Front Royal would like to summarize the impact of the severe weather event on April 16 to the Town’s infrastructure.
During the rain event, Leach Run and Happy Creek overflowed their banks resulting in numerous road closures throughout the Town. Closures occurred on Commerce Avenue, Happy Creek Road, John Marshall Highway, Main Street, Manassas Street, 8th Street, Water Street, Laura Virginia Hale Place, Prospect Street, Criser Road, Walker Avenue, Anderson Street, and Markham Street. Road flooding has receded following the storm event.
Bridges at 8th Street, Prospect Street, and Criser Road remain closed. Vehicles and pedestrians are advised to avoid these locations. Work to remove debris on 8th Street will commence on Monday, April 18. The bridges on Prospect Street and Criser Road will remain closed to traffic until structural integrity has been confirmed by a bridge inspection. Criser Road will continue to remain closed until guardrail repairs, pavement resurfacing, and other identified deficiencies have been addressed.
Electrical service was disrupted to the Happy Creek area due to a disruption at the Rte. 606 Substation. Service was restored within one hour of the failure.
Two water mains crossing Happy Creek near the Royal Plaza Shopping Center were damaged during the flood event. The breaks were isolated to prevent further water loss and will be investigated when safe access to the creek has been restored. Currently a few businesses have been notified that temporary water service has been provided due to the breaks. Crews will work to improve the temporary service this week.
Sanitary sewer backups occurred at a number of locations due to the rainfall. Crews have responded to those locations that have contacted the Town about backups.
The Town would like to acknowledge the dedication of the men and women in our Police Department, Public Works Department, Energy Resources Department, and the Environmental Service Department for the commitment and service during the severe weather event.
Please refer to local media outlets for future notifications regarding bridge closures or water service.
If you have any questions about this weather event’s impact on the Town, please contact the Town at (540) 635-8007.
By Dan McDermott
Warren County Report
J.D. Striker, a retired Front Royal Police Corporal and one-time candidate for Warren County Sheriff has died.
Front Royal Police Chief Richard Furr said Sunday that police were called to an in-town location at about 7 a.m. When officers responded they discovered Mr. Striker was deceased. Police do not view the death as suspicious, Furr said.
This video was referred to us and shows two people trapped in a truck. The video says it was on Happy Creek. Caution: strong language.
This video is at the entrance to Greenhill Forest subdivision off of 55 going toward Linden. (Thanks Dominique!)
Thanks Brad Barry.
For more incredible photos and videos, click here.
Happy Creek Road floods pickup truck when all day rains flood Front Royal, VA. Courtesy of Sherman Springfield for Warren County Report.
Floods in front of Bing Crosby Stadium in Front Royal, Virginia on 04-16-11. Courtesy of Sherman Springfield for Warren County Report.
Video: Happy Creek in Warren County washes out Front Royal Bridges. Courtesy of Sherman Springfield for Warren County Report.
The following three photos are by Warren County Report’s Carol Ballard who says: “Didn’t get any photos in town. Didn’t realize how bad it was until I got there and didn’t have my camera. I got some at my house though. I have a new groove cut in my driveway! Rivers and waterfalls where there weren’t any yesterday. This is the first time I’ve seen water coming over the bridge on 671. It was less than 2 inches, so we drove across, but watched someone else go across first. Didn’t like the image of Angela and me floating down the creek in the car!
The entire set is available for viewing in full size on our Flickr page.
Jeremy Berkebile reminded me of the above video that sort of puts things in perspective. It could have (and has) been a lot worse.
Got a great story about the flooding? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to Shannon, Sherman, Jeremy and Brad!