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PHOTOS: Richmond's last major James River flood in 1985

PHOTOS: Richmond's last major James River flood in 1985

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The last major flood of the James River in Richmond came 35 years ago in November 1985.

The remnants of Hurricane Juan and another area of low pressure dumped extremely heavy rain in the Appalachian Mountains - nearly 20 inches in one spot - and devastating floods began in Southwest Virginia on Nov. 4.

The water then surged down the James, Roanoke, Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers over the next few days.

The level reached 24.77 feet at Richmond's Westham Gauge on Nov. 7, the third-highest level on record after the 1972 Hurricane Agnes flood and 1969 Hurricane Camille flood.

Near downtown, the crest at the City Locks was 30.76 feet, second only to the 1972 flood.

The James River has not reached similar levels in Richmond since then,  though major flooding did occur farther upstream twice in 1996.

The flash flooding caused by Gaston in 2004 also proved to be deadly and destructive in Richmond even without a major increase in the river's level.


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