Heavy Labor Day rains brought minor flooding in southwest Virginia while the Tidewater area tried to dry out from a Sunday dousing.

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch for much of southwest and western Virginia yesterday after heavy thunderstorms dumped between 3 and 4 inches in some areas.

On Sunday, a front stalled over the Norfolk-Portsmouth area, pouring nearly 5 inches on downtown Norfolk and causing heavy street flooding. Police said it was impossible to estimate how much damage was done.

Flooding in Portsmouth was not as severe.

More than 2 1/2 inches fell in the Roanoke Valley, causing some flooding of secondary roads in Henry and Franklin counties. A portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway was closed when a creek washed over the roadway.

The rain did not come in time to help the state's parched corn crop.

"This has been the history of our weather this year," said Louis J. Schiemann Jr., extension agent in Franklin County. "It all comes during a certain period, and then we have the long dry spells."

Schiemann said the moisture would help the pastures. Cattle ranchers have been putting out winter feed for their livestock because the pastures have been so dry.

A weather service spokesman in Norfolk said the heavy rains Sunday were not unusual -- it was where they fell that made the difference.

"What happened was merely a thunderstorm stalled over the city of Norfolk and parts of the city of Portsmouth. It caused local flooding of the streets," said Robert Bottom.