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James River Predicted to Reach Record Level High on Friday

On Friday the river is expected to hit 19.1 feet the highest level in 24 years.

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The photo above is from last summer but you get the idea. This graph from the Westham Gauge tells the more accurate story but in a less visually dramatic way.

As you can see on Friday the river is expected to hit 19.1 feet the highest level in 24 years. Minor Flood stage is the orange band above and starts at 12 feet above 15 feet and you’re into Moderate range. It shouldn’t have to be said but if you go down to the river to check it out stay safe and observe from a good distance.

Update from James River Parks:

Due to projected river levels, JRPS will be closing the following areas:
Pony Pasture Parking Lot
Huguenot Flatwater Parking Lot
Portions of Belle Isle
Pipeline Trail
Please note that access to the river from Texas Beach Tower and 42nd Tower will be flooded.
Update from the City of Richmond Department of Public Utilities:

The City of Richmond Department of Public Utilities (DPU) will activate the Dock Street and Brander Street flood walls as a cautionary measure in response to the heavy rainfall in the western parts of the James River Basin area.

The closure of the Dock Street gate will occur at noon today and will close Dock Street from 17th to 21st.  Traffic will be detoured up 21st Street to Cary Street or Main Street. The floodwall will re-open when water levels recede to a level safe to reopen Dock Street to traffic.

The closure of the Brander Street gate will occur by close of business today and will impact the entrance to the City’s Waste Water Treatment Plant and Ancarrow’s Landing.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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Delegate celebrates Senate passage of limited paid leave bill

The Virginia Senate passed an amended version of a bill by Del. Elizabeth Guzmán, D-Woodbridge, mandating paid sick leave. The substitute bill, which now only extends to some in-home health care workers, heads back to the House where the initial bill passed on a 54-46 vote. Guzmán said she will encourage delegates to approve the substitute and send the amended bill to Gov. Ralph Northam.

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By Zachary Klosko

After four years and multiple bills, Del. Elizabeth Guzmán, D-Woodbridge, is on the cusp of being able to secure paid leave for some Virginia workers.

“It feels really good,” Guzmán said. “I think about the amount of people who are going to get this benefit and how they will have peace of mind to stay home and take care of family members if they are unwell.”

The Virginia Senate passed an amended version of the delegate’s legislation that mandates paid sick leave for some in-home health care workers. The substitute bill heads back to the House, where the initial bill passed on a 54-46 vote. Guzmán said she will encourage delegates to approve the substitute and send the amended bill to Gov. Ralph Northam.

Guzmán took to Twitter after the Senate’s 21-18 vote to express her excitement.

“Thank you!!” Guzmán wrote on Twitter. “We did it!!”

House Bill 2137 originally offered the benefit to many essential workers, including first responders, retail workers, cleaning workers, teachers, jail and prison employees and transportation workers.

 The bill advanced from the House with an amendment for small businesses; it did not apply to retail businesses with fewer than 25 employees. The Senate later amended the bill to only offer the benefit to in-home health care workers who serve patients with Medicaid coverage.

The substitute still requires employers to set aside one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked. Employees must work at least an average of 20 hours per week or 90 hours per month to qualify. Once covered, workers will be allowed paid leave if they are sick or if they need to care for a sick family member. Unused sick leave can be carried over to the year after it was earned.

The amended bill will protect 25,000 workers, according to a press release by Guzmán.

Guzmán says her work is not done.

“I will continue to fight as lieutenant governor, I will continue to fight as a delegate,” Guzmán said. “Whichever role I’m in, I will continue to fight.”

Guzmán is running for lieutenant governor. Among others in the race, she is facing Del. Hala Ayala, another Democrat from Prince William County. If successful, Ayala or Guzmán would become the first Latina to serve in the role.

If signed into law, those covered will begin to accrue paid leave hours on July 1.

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Community

Food Truck Rally Pulls Into the Diamond

Come by every week for a new RVA Food Truck Lineup!

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Tired of the same old food day after day? You’ll have a chance next week to try something new or hit up that old favorite. Starting Thursday, March 4th various food trucks will park in the Diamond parking lot and serve up their wares.
Order and eat on-site, or order in advance and pickup and go!
View participating trucks, menus, and order in advance at: http://foodtruckrallyrva.com/
First Food Truck Lineup Thursday, March 4th
  • Opa
  • Shakedown Eats
  • The Pitts Killer Food Truck

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Community

Construction at Southside Community Center

If you use the Southside Community Center be aware of some entrance closures.

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Heads up patrons of Southside Community Center! We are starting on the next phase of construction on the property next week. Starting today, entrances to the property from Old Warwick Rd are closed. If you are visiting the center, please use the entrance on Carnation St.

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