Flooding affects Portsmouth drivers and business owners

Flooding on Elm Ave. in Portsmouth. Sept. 9, 2014. (Credit: WAVY/Joel Hilton)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – The sight of flooded, abandoned cars became a common site across Portsmouth Tuesday morning.

Flooding crippled traffic on Effingham Street. Nick Morant of Hampton said he pulled over, after attempting to get to work. “Trying to get to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. I’ve been out here since 4:40 in the morning. It was raining even harder out here. I saw that some trucks and some vans got stuck under the bridge, like four feet deep. I turned back around, tried to go into this neighborhood back here. The water was just so high, so I just parked in the church until it’s time for me to go to work,” Morant told WAVY.com.

Photos: Flooding Across Hampton Roads

Kaya Reed was one of the unlucky ones. His Cadillac couldn’t make it through the high water on Airline Boulevard. “As I was trying to cut through, I got stuck and stopped and these two other gentlemen, they came behind me and they got stuck as well, so we said, ‘Well hey, let’s pull each other out,'” he said. Morant said the water completely covered his center console, as he was sitting in the car. “I was thinking, ‘Oh my God, something’s going to blow, so get out.'” A tow truck was able to remove his car four hours later.

Melissa Oakes from Earl’s Credit Auto Sales was assessing the damage to the property on Airline Boulevard Tuesday morning. “This morning I came in about 6:45 in the morning, was across the street in my husband’s truck, who has a Suburban, and we could not get across. The water was rapidly just going into our building. We’ve sump pumped it out of our back offices. All the files in our back office are ruined. Our building goes under water every time it rains. This is the fifth or sixth floor we’ve put down and we’re doing it again,” Oakes said.

Photos: High water at Earl’s Credit Auto Sales

On South Street, a half dozen stalled cars remained in the middle of the flooded road Tuesday afternoon. Neighbor Phil Lakes said the water crept up to his home. “Last night, it was all the way up into my house. It came through my porch door up there, and it was a lot higher than this. Not as many cars out there. Most of these cars was from today,” Lakes said.

A sign that read “Road May Flood” had water up to the 3-feet mark around 9 a.m. Tuesday. Neighbors said they believed it was as high as five feet earlier in the morning.

As of 2 p.m., I-264 at Frederick Boulevard in Portsmouth was still closed because of the floodwaters.

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