The James River reached levels higher than 12 feet Tuesday and plenty more rain is expected Thursday (see photos on the James River News Hub facebook page). Since the James is predicted to stay above 9 feet heading in Thursday, that means more potential for again surpassing the flood stage Friday and in to the weekend, according to the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hyrdologic Prediction Service.
As of 10 p.m. Tuesday, the Westham Gauge was showing the James at 12.69 feet, predicting to drop to 8.6 feet by 1 p.m. Thursday before rising to more than 14.3 feet by 7 p.m. Friday evening. Those are just forecasts now, but the weekend remains an exciting one for river-goers, especially those with permits to paddle above 9 feet.
An ordinance requires river-goers to wear a life jacket when the water level is above 5 feet and to obtain a permit when the level is 9 feet or higher. The law allows police to fine violators and can hold them responsible for the cost of a rescue, which deters some but not all.