Rain brings some drought relief, leaves damages

The remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole brought some much needed rain to the area last Wednesday and Thursday, making up the rain deficit for September. But, with the drenching rain came problems for a truck repair shop in Chester and a major pot hole on Interstate 95, which caused headaches for early morning commuters.

Dave Vernon, an employee of Vernon’s Truck Repair Shop, located in the 11600 block of Jefferson Davis Highway, opened the shop Thursday morning without having to turn on the lights.  A 25- to 30-foot opening had been created in the back wall of the 40-foot by 60-foot shop area, most likely by the 2.25 inches of recorded rainfall through Wednesday.   

“Water was still gushing to the door when I opened,” said Vernon.  A tool bench had been pushed away from the wall by the falling block and a clock that hung on the wall had fallen, knocking out the batteries recording the time, which would have been 2:44 a.m.  The owner of the building, Jimmy Blackburn, had moved some of the debris on Thursday, recovering some of the shop’s equipment.  The county condemned the building on Friday, Oct. 1.  Blackburn is working with the shop’s owner to move the repair shop to another location.

A pothole 20 inches long, 5 inches wide and 6 inches deep opened up Thursday morning around 5 a.m. at the 62 milemarker just before Route 288 on I-95. The pothole forced highway officials to close the center and left lanes, creating long lines for the early morning commuters.  Temporary repairs were made by the Virginia Department of Transportation by installing drainage pipes under the highway to move the water away from the area.  Permanent repairs will be made when the area dries to allow the materials used to cure properly.

Five inches of rain was recorded from this rain event, eliminating the 4-inch rain deficit for September.  With the additional rain received Sunday evening into Monday, Lake Chesdin water levels are getting closer to the top of the dam.  According to the Appomattox River Water Authority, the water levels are well over the emergency restriction line and over the mandatory restriction line.  Officials could be meeting in the near future to discuss the current emergency restrictions in place for Chesterfield.  Until then, emergency restrictions will remain in place for the Tri-Cities, which include Chesterfield, Petersburg, Colonial Heights, Dinwiddie and Prince George.

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