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High water closes roads

A car was stranded in high water on River Road near Motts Run Road in Spotsylvania Wednesday.(DAVE ELLIS / THE FREE LANCE-STAR)

A car was stranded in high water on River Road near Motts Run Road in Spotsylvania Wednesday.(DAVE ELLIS / THE FREE LANCE-STAR)

The deluge sweeping through the area has done a number on the highways.

More than 100 Fredericksburg-area roads were closed Wednesday because of flooding, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

About a dozen others had advisories because of standing water.

Expect more of the same, and possibly worse, today as the rain could continue to fall in the morning and the Rappahannock River is expected to crest in Fredericksburg.

VDOT spokeswoman Kelly Hannon said crews are monitoring road conditions near area rivers “as the combination of tidal changes and water flowing from higher elevations could lead to continued or increased flooding on roads. We’ll be ready to close roads as needed overnight and Thursday.”

As the rain continued to fall for the third straight day on Wednesday, the road closures piled up.

Louisa and Caroline counties had the most as of Wednesday afternoon, with a combined 57 roads shut down because of flooding.

In Culpeper, where between 5 and 6 inches of rain fell between Monday afternoon and Wednesday night, four school bus routes were canceled because of flooded roads.

According to Sgt. Joe Curtis, supervisor of school resource officers for the Sheriff’s Office, parents were called to pick up the children who rode those buses. Routes from Eastern View High School, Floyd T. Binns Middle School and Pearl Sample Elementary School were affected.

Resource officers remained at the schools until all children were picked up, Curtis said.

High water forced other buses to turn around and seek alternate routes. All students were delivered to their bus stops by 6 p.m.

Water covered both Yowell Meadow Park and Wine Street Park and flooded a construction site on the Old Rixeyville Road where it will join the inner loop (Colonel Jameson Boulevard).

The Rapidan River is expected to crest above flood stage this morning in the village of Rapidan, along the Culpeper/Orange county line.

A section of northbound U.S. 1 in Thornburg was closed for several hours.

Also in Spotsylvania, rescue crews had to help free a car stuck in standing water near Motts Run. One lane in that area was closed for about two hours.

Hannon said Wednesday evening that parts of State Route 208 (Lake Anna Parkway) and Piedmont Drive in Spotsylvania were closed, as were Hope Road and Harrell Road in Stafford.

She said drivers should be cautious.

“We do ask people to be very careful if they’re driving,” she said. “Particularly the interstate, be really careful.”

She also warned drivers to avoid water-covered roads.

“A couple of inches can carry a car away.”

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436