Local news in brief:
The remnants of Tropical Storm Fred could bring heavy rain to our area. Rain chances will increase across our region late today and will continue through Wednesday as the storm tracks northward towards Tennessee, bringing tropical moisture into the area. Rainfall is expected to be heavy at times and that could cause flooding and flash flooding. The heaviest rains should occur Tuesday night into Wednesday. The threat of localized flooding is possible, despite recent dry conditions. The National Hurricane Center said Fred regained its tropical storm status in the Gulf of Mexico early Sunday just hours before Grace was demoted to a tropical depression. A new tropical depression also formed in the Atlantic Ocean on Sunday night.
Showers and thunderstorms this afternoon and evening could bring torrential downpours, leading to localized flash flooding. Heavy rainfall could lead to localized flooding again Tuesday and Wednesday.
A weak frontal boundary in the region combined with a southerly flow of tropical moisture will keep the threat of showers and storms around into midweek, while Fred moves from the Florida Panhandle toward the Tennessee Valley and Central Appalachians. Once Fred moves by midweek, look for a return to typical August weather toward the end of the week.
A recent report found the Delta variant could spur a fourth wave of the pandemic in Virginia. Virginia currently has a total of 717,826 cases, 32,093 hospitalizations and 11,599 deaths. And right now, 62.2% of the population is vaccinated with at least one dose, according to the Virginia Dept. of Health (VDH). While there was a lull in cases during the early summer months, we are beginning to see a rise in cases and hospitalizations as the Delta variant spreads.
Unemployment benefits funded through federal COVID-19 funds will end Sept. 4, according to the Virginia Unemployment Commission. The VEC says it has already started notifying customers about the end to the federal programs, which were funded through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act of 2020. Benefits were later extended through the Continued Assistance Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
For the second year in a row, runners had to brave rain for the annual Martinsville Mile hosted by Miles in Martinsville on Saturday evening. Martinsville’s Gregg Dean won in a time of 5 minutes and 8 seconds.