June flooding 2021

Drivers carefully traverse the flooded section of College Avenue and Leatherwood Lane after a Wednesday evening storm.

BLUEFIELD — A torrential shower delivering inches of rain Wednesday sent high water flowing over streets and into intersections in Bluefield and other parts of Mercer County.

Heavy rain that fell over the region Monday and Tuesday helped lead Wednesday to the high water problems, according to meteorologist Anita Silverman with the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Va. The previous rainfall saturated the ground and brought about the heavy runoff. 

About 2 inches of rain fell between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m., Silverman said.

The weather service’s rain gauge at the Mercer County Airport, located between Brushfork and Green Valley, recorded about 0.41 inches of rain.

“Most of the county has gotten rain today,” she stated. “The heaviest part was from Bluefield, Va. up towards Ceres, and Princeton to the Virginia line where Bluefield is.”

A dispatcher with the Princeton Rescue Squad said an ambulance crew encountered high water on parts of Stafford Drive.

In the Bluefield area, high water filling the intersection of College Avenue and Leatherwood Lane hampered traffic until it started receding soon after the rain stopped falling. Motorists either cut across parking lots to avoid the water or drove through it quickly.

Eric Henderson, who works at Cole Auto Outlet, said the intersection had been flooded once or twice last year. Without consulting the weather service, he estimated that about 2 inches of rain had fallen.

“And that’s a lot of water,” he said as drivers cautiously navigated the intersection.

Two employees at the nearby Summit Bank also said that Wednesday wasn’t the first time the intersection had high water after a heavy rain.

“Oh yea, we got pictures of it,” Sandra Alexander said.

“This was a river,” Jessica Shrader said about the nearby roadway.

“We have a video where it happened once before,” Alexander added.

High water was also seen on Frederick Street, Bland Street near Cole Harley Davidson and on Bluefield Avenue near the Flowers Bakery Outlet.

Across the state line in Tazewell County, Va., motorists driving along U.S. Route 460 encountered high water near the Sable Lane intersection in the Springville, Va. area, according to a Tazewell 911 dispatcher.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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