Town of Richlands sees blocked roads as river banks flood Monday morning

RICHLANDS, VA (WOAY) – Early Monday morning, the Town of Richlands saw river banks begin to flood.

Police began to block off flooded roads and along with fire and rescue, they began knocking on doors, letting residents know about the potential danger.

“Most of the roads we’ve concentrated on are residential streets,” Richlands Police Chief Jerry Gilbert said. “Letting people know the water was rising and they may want to consider evacuating their homes and moving to higher ground.”

This isn’t the first time the Town of Richlands has seen flooding of this caliber. There were two significant floods last year, one of which saw water nearly reach the main downtown roadway. 

One of those previous floods happened in February of 2020, and saw more than 200 people evacuated from their homes due to rising waters. This flooding is not as serious as the previous year’s, but water has begun to cross some streets and some roads are blocked off.

According to Tazewell County Public Schools, the county took precautions and even let some students go home early.

“We had some high water in the Richlands area and we wanted to make sure the students could get home safely and that our bus drivers could carry them safely on the buses,” Tazewell Schools PR Director Lindsey Mullins said.

Gilbert added that while this flooding is not as bad as last year’s, people should still be vigilant and never drive through flooded roadways. 

“Do not drive through the water. We don’t know what’s underneath. We don’t want anybody getting off in a ditch or anything, flooding out in the middle of the water.” 

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