WYTHE COUNTY, Va. – Wythe County’s Parks & Recreation Department is teaming up with the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries (DGIF) to host a “Kids Fish Day” on Saturday, May 13, 2017.

The event is just one of dozens of activities DGIF will be hosting throughout the Commonwealth this year aimed at giving children 15 and under the first opportunity to fish in freshly stocked waters.

The 2017 Wythe County Kid’s Fish Day will be held at Cripple Creek’s Collin’s Cove / Cole Branch section (roughly midway between the communities of Cripple Creek and Ivanhoe, off Pope Rd.).

“We’re excited to have the opportunity to partner with DGIF to help promote this great activity for the young anglers of our community,” said Kevin Williams, director of Wythe County’s Parks & Recreation.

According to Williams, the event is slated to begin at 9 a.m. and last until 1 p.m.

Participants are encouraged to register (once at the event), as prizes will be awarded throughout the day.

Individuals wishing to learn more about the event may contact Kevin Williams at 276-223-4519. Businesses interested in donating door prizes are also encouraged to contact Williams.

For a complete list of 2017 Kids Fishing Days events and schedules throughout Virginia, individuals may visit the following link: www.dgif.virginia.gov/events/kids-fishing-days/

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WYTHE COUNTY, Va. – This past week, the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services notified Wythe County that Wythe County Rescue Squad’s grant request of $198,925 had been approved by the Virginia Department of Health.

Despite its name Wythe County Rescue Squad is a private non-profit organization (the name is a geographic place reference only); however, the county agreed to offer assistance to the squad in preparing and submitting the successful grant application.

The money will be used to replace a vehicle that had been in service for over a decade and was beginning to experience major mechanical failures.

“We were very happy and pleased to be the recipient of this grant,” stated Danny Gordon who serves as the chairman of Wythe County Rescue Squad’s Board of Directors.

“With all the problems we’ve been having with our old vehicle, this new ambulance will serve as a vital new replacement to our fleet – helping us better serve the people of Wythe County.”

The most recent Rescue Squad Assistance Fund application is only one of several grants the county has successfully assisted local squads in securing over the past several years.

Last year, the Wythe County Administrator’s Office assisted Wythe County Rescue Squad in securing $25,000 from the Wythe—Bland Foundation in order to outfit the new ambulance and in 2015 the county helped Lead Mines Rescue Squad secure $108,535 in funding to help purchase a new ambulance.

“We are pleased to hear of the successful grant application and appreciate state officials for recognizing the dire need of a new vehicle for Wythe County Rescue Squad,” said Wythe County Board of Supervisors Chairman Tim Reeves.

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Flooding Closes Multiple Roadways in Wythe County

WYTHE COUNTY, Va. – Multiple roadways in Wythe County have been closed due to flooding, as anywhere from 3 to 5 inches of rain have already fallen in the locality and weather forecasters are predicting additional precipitation throughout Monday and into the night which may bring an additional 1 to 2 inches.

In Wythe County, the heaviest hit areas are in the locality’s southeastern section, near the New River and its various tributaries. According to USGS data, Reed Creek at Graham’s Forge is discharging 5,690 cubic feet per second (its regular discharge rate is roughly 269 cubic feet per second).

The heavy rainfall has rendered several roads impassable in the county, including the following:

Apperson Dr. – Closed by VDOT
Castleton Rd. has standing water in the roadway (south of Moyer Ln.)
Collins Cove is impassable
Holly Ln. – impassable due to high water
Huffard Ln. is closed
Little Reed Island Rd. – impassable 600 block and beyond
Max Meadows Rd. is closed near recycling center
Moyer Ln. – impassable due to high water
Mule Hell is closed
New Bethel Rd. is closed
Painters Hill Rd. (near 669 Painters Hill Rd.) — highwater
Peridot Ln.
Pope Rd. (Prior to Collins Cove Rd., coming from Huddle) is closed
Ramsey Mountain Rd. – Closed by VDOT
River Bluff – impassable due to high water
Riverview Rd. (near 159 Riverview Rd.) — highwater
Shady River Dr. – impassable due to high water

The county’s emergency management team is maintaining a list of impassable roads in order to better assist emergency responders, therefore if any residents know of any additional roadways that are impassable, they are encouraged to call 911 and notify the county’s dispatchers.

County officials say that at this time, there have been no known injuries and they hope to keep it this way – “The vast majority of flood-related drownings are vehicle-related,” stated Wythe County spokesperson Jeremy Farley. “Citizens are being encouraged to make wise decisions and not to take needless risks. If a motorist comes upon a flooded roadway, ‘turn around, don’t drown’.”

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Flash Flood Warning: Wythe, Smyth, Bland & Tazewell

Weather 423

Shortly before 8:30 Sunday evening, the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Virginia, issued a Flash Flood Warning for Smyth and Tazewell counties, as well as the western portions of Wythe and Bland counties in southwestern Virginia.

The warning remains in effect until 2:15 AM, however, this may be extended (residents are encouraged to monitor weather.gov for the latest flood warnings and watches).

“At 8:20 PM, emergency management officials reported flooding in many areas across Smyth and western Tazewell counties.  Numerous roads are currently being closed across Smyth County as a result of excessive rainfall and flooding. Flooding of some roads and structures has also been reported in western Tazewell County. The public has also reported flooding in western Bland County,” stated a report from the National Weather Service.

As of 10 p.m., no flooding has been reported in Wythe County, however, the county’s emergency management team is closely monitoring the situation.

Rainfall of 3-4 inches has been common across the area during the past two days and additional rainfall of 1-3 inches is likely during the next 24-36 hours.

Residents are encouraged to be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize the dangers of flooding.

A Flash Flood Warning means that flooding is imminent or occurring. If you are in the warned area move to higher ground immediately. Residents living along streams and creeks should take immediate precautions to protect life and property.

When it is safe to do so, please send your reports of flooding, including mudslides or flooded roads, to the National Weather Service by calling toll free at 1-866-215-4324.

Reports and pictures can also be shared on the National Weather Service Blacksburg Facebook page and on Twitter.

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Wind Advisory Issued for Southwest Virginia

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Blacksburg, Virginia, is warning residents of our region that there is a slight risk of severe thunderstorms tonight and into the early morning hours of Thursday.

Even more concerning than the Thunderstorms, however, are the strong winds that are expected to pass through Southwest Virginia in the hours ahead.

At 3:39 p.m., NWS issued an urgent weather message stating, “An area of low pressure will deepen as it tracks from the Ohio Valley into New York on Thursday and Friday. As a result very strong and gusty northwest winds will develop across the Appalachians.”  As a result, a wind advisory will remain in effect from 8 a.m. Thursday to 8 p.m. Friday.

The wind advisory has been issued for southeast West Virginia, southwest Virginia and northwest North Carolina, mainly along and on either side of the Blue Ridge, and into the foothills and piedmont of Virginia and North Carolina.

West winds from 15 to 30 mph are expected with gusts up to 50 mph.

“Trees and tree limbs may be blow down. Isolated power outages are possible. High profile vehicles on north-south oriented roads should exercise caution. Motorists along I-81 and I-77 should be prepared for strong cross winds,” stated the Weather Service.

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Wythe County to Host Public Hearing: Moving Rural Retreat Voting Precinct

WYTHE COUNTY, Va. – The Wythe County Board of Supervisors has scheduled a public hearing to receive feedback from the public regarding a proposal to move the Rural Retreat voting precinct location from the Rural Retreat Fire Department to the Rural Retreat Community Center.

Though the move is only 50 yards, the Code of Virginia requires the Board of Supervisors to conduct a public hearing prior to voting on the proposed change.

Representatives from the county’s electoral board say the move is necessary in order to provide greater accessibility for individuals who may have certain handicaps and that the community center was selected because it is the building closest to the fire department.

The public hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, April 11, 2017, at 7:05 p.m. in the Board Room of the Wythe County Office Building, located at 340 S. Sixth St., Wytheville, Virginia.