On August 30, 2004 Richmond, Virginia was hit with the remnants of hurricane Gaston. I work in the Shockoe Bottom area of downtown Richmond. Over a period of just a few hours we received almost 14 inches of rain. At about 4pm we started having problems with water entering our basement offices. We have had water damage in these offices before and we knew the routine. We began to get items off the floor and on desk tops. We brought pumps in to keep the water damage as low as possible, but we weren't too worried. It had never been very deep in the past.
Then, at about 6pm at night as we all stood in the main entrance way to our street level offices the front doors opened..... it was a wall of water about 12 inches high. It swept through the office. Everyone ran to get stuff off of the floor and into the cars in our parking deck behind our office. Within a minute or two the water had risen to about 3 feet deep. It was time for us to leave. Fortunately, I work for a developer and we own many apartment buildings in the area. One of which was above our offices. We ran up stairs and spent the next 5 hours on the second floor of the building watching in amazement as we looked out the windows onto what was East Main Street. It was now a 9 foot deep river.
The pictures below tell the story of our experience that night. Please note that these pictures are all copyrighted by me. Feel free to link to this site, but please don't steal the pictures. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to use them for commercial purposes. I hope you enjoy the pictures and feel free to drop me a note with any comments.