Peninsula residents cope with flooding, power outages

City Line Apartments in Newport News, Va. experienced major flooding. Sept. 9, 2014. (WAVY Photo)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – Many on the Peninsula experienced flooding Tuesday, such as residents of City Line Apartments in Newport News, who awoke to more rain and no electricity.

Heavy rainfall pounded the apartment complex for hours Tuesday morning. High waters submerged multiple cars near the complex and forced residents to leave their homes.

Photos: City Line Apartments Flood Again

“We didn’t have any warning or anything like that, and like from the rain we got, I didn’t think it would have City Line flooding the way it did. So, it caught me off guard, I was shocked,” said displaced resident Robert Sessoms.

Many took the chance, to drive their vehicles through the water to get to drier land. Others walked through the water with clothing in their hands.

“I was asleep,” said tenant Mya Bowser. “I actually woke up to a loud knock on my door. I opened the door and there was water everywhere. Water in my car. I carried my kids out and just left, I just left.”

City Line residents say the flooding was the worst they’ve seen in years. To make matters worse, the apartment complex was among 1,500 customers in Newport News who lost power Tuesday morning. Bonita Billingsley-Harris with Dominion Virginia Power said the power outages began around 2:30 a.m. and the flood waters delayed the repair work.

Around 3:30 a.m., Billingsley-Harris said an equipment failure at W. Mercury Boulevard in Hampton knocked out the power to an additional 1,000 customers on the Peninsula. That number rose to 1,700 later in the morning before power was restored.

Across all of Hampton Roads and northeast North Carolina, nearly 19,000 customers lost power during the overnight storm. Crews had to get on a boat to restore power to a location in Sandbridge, according to Billingsley-Harris.

During the late morning, the flooding got so bad, Newport News Fire and Rescue and the police department had to rescue people from their flooded homes. Hampton Fire and Rescue and police also rescued different residents at a nearby apartment complex.

Photos: Newport News Overpass Flooding

The Main Street overpass filled with water that almost reached the bridge, preventing any vehicles from accessing the road.

“That’s ridiculous. That’s the highest we’ve seen it. We saw it two years ago when the nor’easter came through,” said Mike Finnigan, a neighbor who lives nearby.

He said he woke up to high water in his yard: “All I could see was just water. I didn’t even see the grass at all, then we came outside and we have two vehicles over there that were flooded, so we pushed them up where we could get them out of the water. The rest we just moved where there was no water.”

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