People rescued from flooded vehicles in Isle of Wight; Orbit Road collapses again


ISLE OF WIGHT, Va. (WAVY) — Heavy rain drenched Isle of Wight County Wednesday.

Isle of Wight Officials say multiple roads closed Wednesday due to flooding. Some roads washed over. Some washed away. For the second time this season, Orbit Road in Windsor collapsed from flood damage. Repairs were made, but the new asphalt caved in again.

“Mostly throughout the centralized part of the county we’ve experienced some localized pretty moderate flooding this morning. A lot of our secondary roadways are still underwater,” said Capt. Tommy Potter with the Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office.

The flooding impacted several schools. As a result, all in-person learning was canceled for Wednesday. The school day was originally delayed two hours, but at 9 a.m. the school system made the decision to cancel instead.

There hasn’t been a decision if offices or schools will be able to open back up Thursday.

Just after 11 a.m., National Weather Service in Wakefield reported that parts of Isle of Wight already saw about seven inches of rainfall accumulation.

There was also a flash flood warning issued by the National Weather Service for Gates County, N.C., Hertford County, N.C. Southampton County, Va., Franklin, Va. and part of Suffolk, Va. until 7:30 p.m.

The National Weather Service in Wakefield said as much as 3 inches of rain fell from Franklin south into North Carolina, producing flash flooding in the region.

Lt. Tommy Potter with the Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office said that two vehicles were submerged in the 200 block of Great Spring Road in Smithfield.

Smithfield fire officials say they arrived on scene around 7 a.m. for the first vehicle and determined that it was unoccupied. It was stuck in a flash flood.

During that operation, rescue crews received a tip about another vehicle opposite of the original location that was also stuck in flood waters. The single occupant in that vehicle was rescued by a fire department crew.

After the vehicle rescues, some homes were evacuated due to the high flooding in the Great Spring Road area. Fire officials say 10 people and one dog were evacuated by boat and taken to the Main Street Baptist Church for temporary shelter.

When units were clearing the scene of the rescues on Great Spring Road, another emergency call came in for a vehicle in high water on Scotts Factory Road.

Crews arrived to find an occupied pickup truck in “rapidly rising water.” They were able to complete the rescue using a shallow water crossing, technical rescue techniques, and zodiac boats.

Further down Orbit Road from the collapsed section, the water was as high as the guardrails. On Woodland Drive, heavy, fast-moving water poured over the roadway and created a small waterfall.

Isle of Wight County officials say that Route 258 near the courthouse were also impassable.

“When you get past the sheriff’s office, there’s an area that we refer to as Champion Swamp and we are working with VDOT to assess that part of the roadway to see if any of that has been compromised by the water that was rushing over the roadway there today. So we expect that to be closed for the remainder of the day,” said Potter on Wednesday.

 Potter wants to remind everyone to stay safe.

“We’ve already had several instances today where people have thought they could make it through the water and their car stalled out. We’ve had to do a couple of high-water rescues with the fire department this morning. Also, we’ve had some vehicles, they’ve traveled down these roads, hit a spot of water, planed and ended up in a ditch or in the woodline.”

Stay tuned to for updates.

Isle of Wight County Standing Water Report:

  • The following roads are closed due to high water as of 6 p.m.
    • Great Springs/Quail St
    • Waterworks at the Dam
    • 16000 Bob White Rd
    • Raynor Rd/Jonestown
    • Hatcher Ln/Courthouse Hwy
    • Millswamp/Bethany Church Rd
    • Uzzel Church/Carroll Bridge
    • Scotts Factory/Deer Run
    • Whitehouse Rd/Magnet Dr
    • Dews Plantation Rd/Raynor Rd
    • Wrenns Mill Rd /Bethany Church
    • Orbit Rd/Woodland Rd

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