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Flood Waters Starting To Recede In Prince William County

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Nokesville farmer Donald Katzenberger surveys storm damage after heavy rains caused significant flooding in Prince William County this week. 
 
Armando Trull
  Nokesville farmer Donald Katzenberger surveys storm damage after heavy rains caused significant flooding in Prince William County this week.   

Due to strong storms overnight, a flood warning remained in place this morning for small streams and creeks in Virginia's Prince William County.

At this point, officials do not believe there will be an overflow of the Lake Jackson Dam in Manassas, after two homes near the dam had to be evacuated as a precaution yesterday. 

There is still plenty of standing water around the county, especially in Manassas and Manassas Park, and authorities have been closing and reopening roads because of that. 

Emergency services personnel are warning anyone who sees areas that may be flooded not to drive through them, because even a small amount of water could be enough to sweep a car away. In addition, it's difficult to know  what's underneath the standing water; sink holes began appearing on some area roads yesterday, and could trap vehicles and passengers. 

At the Lake Jackson Dam, water from the lake rushing over rapidly from the lake into the Occoquan River on the other side; where the river banks used to be is now just massive amounts of water, almost as high as the leaves on the trees.

At this point, authorities are not concerned that the dam will overflow, but they are keeping an eye on the weather and hoping that the rains this afternoon and evening will not create a flooding problem.  

But Prince William is slowly drying out, and resident and local officials alike are beginning to clean up. Nokesville, which is farm country in Prince William County, was one of the hardest hit areas by yesterday's flooding. Several roads and small bridges buckled due to the heavy rains. 

 

Large amounts of debris moving in the flood waters also caused problem for local farms, says Donald Katzenberger, who was out mending his back fence until after nightfall last night. 

"The debris accumulates, and it washes down into the creek, the water pushes it, and it gets bigger and bigger, and before long it's like a big bulldozer," Katzenberger says. 

He also lives near one of the bridges affected by the flood, which now is narrowed by a huge sinkhole exposing the concrete moorings underneath. Pieces of metal guardrail and pavement are littered around the edges of the bridge. 

"VDOT is going to have to come in here and take all this out and put in all new culverts and build a new bridge," Katzenberger says. "It's probably going to cost them thousands of thousands of dollars, and of course, like everyone else, we're all broke." 

Transportation officials in Prince William County, and jurisdictions such as Manassas have a handful of roads that have been buckled by the flood waters and they will try to make those repairs over the coming days. 

 

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