Holston River rages dangerously close to roads, homes, and restaurant in Smyth County

POSTED: 4:10 PM Jan 30 2013   UPDATED: 5:38 PM Jan 16 2013
SMYTH COUNTY FLOODING
SMYTH COUNTY, Va. -

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While most of the worst flooding has been in Tennessee, there's also flooding in Southwest Virginia and it's causing problems for lots of folks, including those just trying to get to work and back.

No matter which part of the Holston River you stopped at, the water was rushing and Emergency Management officials say the water level was about five-feet above normal.

Warning signs on South Fork Road in Smyth County were up for drivers, alerting them that the ride ahead could get treacherous. "It's probably better to close the road than to get half-way up and realize you can't get back down," said driver Matt Mabry.

Some, like Mabry, took a chance and crossed anyway, "Well what I saw of it [South Fork Road], it's pretty rough with some swift water. It's going across the road there and it's in rough shape."

The South Fork of the Holston River sits dangerously close to Casey's Diner and employees took steps to keep everyone safe by closing at 2pm. "The people that work the second shift have to come all the way from Troutdale. We don't want to risk them getting stranded over here," said employee Cassie Campbell.

We took a risk to see just how bad flooding was on South Fork Road further down. We found that the raging river made it hard for drivers to navigate across one bridge.

Some say it's a risk they have to take simply to get home. "They're [drivers] as brave as we are, they don't care we live out in the country," added driver Bella Robbins.

While others hope the worst of the flooding is over. "I think the rain is going to stop and it'll go down. It happens pretty often out here," said driver Barry Ellison.

Smyth County Emergency Management officials say as of right now all roads are passable. But they want to warn drivers to be especially careful as it gets dark out.