NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Flooding in coastal Virginia and North Carolina blocked roads and forced school closings Wednesday that affected for more than 100,000 students.
A stalled weather system and the remnants of Tropical Storm Julia have brought days of rain and localized flooding to the region.
The rain is expected to continue into Thursday. The U.S. Navy authorized a 2-hour delay Thursday morning for its non-essential personnel at military installations throughout the Hampton Roads region.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Matt Scalora said late Wednesday afternoon that anywhere from 9 inches to 16 inches fell over the region during a 72-hour period. He added that the rainfall broke records for individual dates on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Forecasters predicted the heaviest of the rain would end by Wednesday evening. The rain is expected to continue for much of Thursday before Julia's remnants drift out to sea by the following day.
Local media reported impassable roadways and highway ramps throughout the region Wednesday. Major school districts in Virginia's south Hampton Roads region canceled classes. So did two North Carolina counties, Currituck and Gates.
Officials in Chowan County, North Carolina, reported on a website that at least two roads were washed out along with water lines serving 150 customers. Several others roads are impassable. Between five to 10 inches of rain has fallen there.
In Currituck County, Emergency Management Director Mary Beth Newns wrote in an email that several buildings had been flooded.
In Virginia Beach, resident Todd Solomon said he's never seen rainstorms close schools without a hurricane bearing down.
Solomon lives in a flood-prone neighborhood. He said water flooded his backyard up to his house's foundation but failed to enter the home. He said his neighborhood has fared pretty well, considering.
"A lot of parents were pretty surprised," said Solomon who has a child in middle school. "The kids are pretty happy. They were texting, saying hey what are we going to do today? It was like summer or the weekend."