Florence wreaks havoc

Published 9:41 am Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Though the majority of Charlotte County was spared the brunt of Florence, now a tropical cyclone, at the end of last week, the weather struck with a vengeance Monday, dumping several inches of rainfall, bringing severe thunderstorm and flooding advisories, downed trees, flooded ditches and ponds, and flooding out several roads and bridges in the county.

The inclement weather activity also came with an alarming report that a student from Central Middle School was transported to the hospital after receiving an electric shock thought to have been caused by lightning during a storm Monday afternoon.

A flood warning affecting Charlotte and Halifax counties from the National Weather Service began Tuesday at 2 p.m. and is set to end 2 a.m. the following morning at Roanoke (Staunton) River at Randolph.

The warning cited that as of 8 a.m. Tuesday, the water stage was 23.9 feet. The flood stage for the Roanoke River at Randolph is 24 feet.

At 8 a.m. Tuesday the stage was 23.9 feet.

“The river will rise to 24.0 feet and reach flood stage during midday,” the warning cited. “The river will fall below flood stage this evening.”

The warning cited that widespread lowland flooding in fields on the left bank and woods on the right bank are expected.

It also said the river’s crest compares to a previous crest of 23.9 feet April 26 of this year.

Charlotte County, received a tornado warning Monday afternoon that was lifted and a reported 6 inches of rain fell in the eastern part of the county.

Where there are flooded areas, residents should avoid approaching or driving through the flooded areas, as the majority of flood-related deaths occur in vehicles, according to the National Weather Service.

Virginia Department of Transportation is reporting numerous road closures as of early Tuesday afternoon in the county, including an impassable road in a segment of Route 605, Rutledge Road, flooding on Route 679, Bailey Farm Road, flooding on Route 730, Shiloh Church Road that runs to Kings Highway; Route 600, Pine Tree Road on the Charlotte County/ Mecklenburg County line, and more than a dozen others.

With all of the weather-related hardships, there is hope in sight. The weather is expected to have, apart from patchy fog in the morning, sunny skies reported for Wednesday.


Maurice Hurt, an eighth-grade student at Central Middle School, was reportedly washing his hands at school Monday afternoon, before school was dismissed when he felt a shock that started in his left hand and traveled up his arm.

An official from the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office and Phinon Hayes-Hurt, Maurice’s mother, cited that Maurice was transported by Charlotte County Rescue Squad to Centra Southside Community Hospital in Farmville Monday afternoon to be examined.

Hayes-Hurt said she received the call from the school nurse that her son had received an electric shock.

She said Maurice received tests from the hospital that measured his muscle density. Hurt said the hospital’s diagnosis was electrocution.

The Gazette contacted the hospital seeking confirmation that the electric shock could have come from the thunderstorm Monday afternoon, a spokesperson said the hospital could not disclose information due to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) violations.

Johnny Wright from the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office said that he was only told that Hurt got shocked.

Charlotte County Public Schools was not immediately available for comment and schools were closed in the county Tuesday when contacted by the Gazette.

Hayes-Hurt said Maurice is OK and was discharged from the hospital Monday night.

“We’re just grateful that it wasn’t worse than what it was,” Hayes-Hurt said.

“We will definitely be keeping him away from water when it’s storming outside,” Hayes-Hurt said.