WEATHER

Culpeper flooding shuts roads, schools

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Portions of downtown Culpeper were underwater Monday morning as a line of drenching storms passed over the county, town officials say.

Several parts of downtown Culpeper found itself underwater after the storm. Photo: Jummy Olabanji

Nearly half a foot of rain fell on the town and county of Culpeper since last night, authorities say, and the storms left about 50 guests at a local motel chest deep in water.

Those guests at the Sleepy Hollow Motel were temporarily evacuated due to the flood waters, which Culpeper officials say has since receded.

Jason Critchfield quickly gathered his daughter, his fiancée and anything else he could before getting out of the room in a hurry.

"There was debris, there was propane tanks floating by,” he says. “It was becoming a real serious situation."

Some residents of the motel had their clothing, shoes and even electronics soaked or completely ruined. The town says it received about 5-and-a-half inches of rain since Sunday night.

The rush of water lead to big chunks of debris clogging draining system, resulting in flooding in a parking lot near a tractor supply company, a 7-Eleven that had to close for hours and flooding at Wine Street Memorial Park and Yowell Meadow Park.

The American Red Cross opened a shelter at the Culpeper County Volunteer Rescue Squad Co. 11 building.

The heavy storm forced school officials to shut down all county schools for the day.

John Weaver drove by the park with his son Nate, then had to stop and take a look for himself.

"Never seen anything quite like it," he says.

Critchfield feels the same way.

"To be honest, I'm terrified," he says.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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