Severe Weather Ahead for September 13th- September 14th, 2018
Latest Briefing on Severe Weather Event for 9/13 - 9/14
Hurricane Florence Talking Points: Sept. 10 at 8:30 p.m.
- Governor Northam has declared a mandatory evacuation for Coastal Virginia residents in Zone A beginning Sept. 11, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. Zone A generally represents low lying areas, those along the coast, and properties along waterways in Hampton Roads, the Eastern Shore, Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula. Residents can go to KnowYourZoneVA.org (while VDEM’s website is being repaired) to input their address and find out which zone they live in.
- The Virginia National Guard is initially planning to bring up to 1,500 Soldiers, Airmen and members of the Virginia Defense Force on state active duty for assistance with the response operations for Hurricane Florence. Additional personnel can be brought on duty if needed.
- Virginia State Police, VDEM, VDOT and other emergency responders will commence 24 hour operations on Wednesday in anticipation of the storm. The Virginia Emergency Operations Center has been fully operational since Monday and will continue to coordinate preparation, response and recovery efforts for the foreseeable future.
- Work continues to fully restore web and 211 telephone services which were negatively impacted by huge numbers of visitors throughout the day. We hope to augment these services and restore them to normal operations by Tuesday morning.
- With the arrival of tropical storm force winds and heavy rains beginning Wednesday and continuing through the weekend, Virginians can expect widespread road closures and power outages. Motorists should visit 511Virginia.org or Call 511 for the latest road conditions and report outages to Dominion Energy at dom.com or to local electric cooperatives.
GENERAL INFORMATION REGARDING HURRICANE FLORENCE:
- Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) teams have worked throughout the weekend preparing for what may be Virginia’s most significant hurricane event in decades. With Virginia under a state of emergency, and forecasts showing Florence zeroing in on the Mid-Atlantic, the time for all Virginians to prepare is now.
- It is too soon to know the track Hurricane Florence will take, but all models are agreeing that Virginia can expect significant impacts in the form of coastal storm surge, catastrophic inland flooding, high winds and possible widespread power outages.
- Virginia emergency managers and first responders are mobilizing to prepare for the storm. Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency late Saturday in order to mobilize personnel and resources for storm impacts, and to speed the response to those communities that are damaged by the storm. This includes resources from VDEM, the Virginia Department of Transportation, Virginia State Police, Virginia Department of Health, Virginia National Guard (VNG) and others.
- The Virginia Emergency Operations Center is active and will be staffed throughout the week to coordinate resources and prepare for the storm. VDEM staff are on hand and are continuing to coordinate with local emergency managers and federal, state and local agencies to respond to be ready for the storm.
- The Virginia National Guard (VNG) is initially planning to bring up to 1,500 Soldiers, Airmen and members of the Virginia Defense Force on state active duty for possible assistance with the state’s response operations for Hurricane Florence. Additional personnel have been alerted and could be brought on duty if needed depending on the weather impacts.
- Potential missions for the VNG include high water transportation, debris reduction, commodity distribution, shelter management assistance and rotary wing aviation search and rescue.
- The VNG plans to stage personnel at readiness centers in key locations throughout the commonwealth in order to be ready to rapidly respond if needed.
- The alert process to notify VNG personnel to report for duty has begun, and they are scheduled to be in place by early afternoon on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, and ready to provide support.
- Virginia State Police will call in all available staff before the storm and will have swift water rescue teams available and pre-positioned around the state.
- VDOT is readying trucks and equipment and planning for staff augmentation of Safety Service Patrols and Traffic Operations Centers for additional traffic monitoring, emergency response capabilities and assisting motorists in distress along major routes.
- VDOT will be lifting lane closures, where possible, on major routes to keep roads clear for emergency responders and possible evacuations.
- VDOT is notifying additional debris/tree removal crews to be on standby once the storm’s effects begin.
- VDOT crews are inspecting and clearing drainage structures in advance of the storm and will have crews and personnel available 24/7 to respond to damaged roadways and downed trees.
- Norfolk Southern will be issuing embargoes for affected locations based on the current projections from the National Hurricane Center. Traffic en-route to these locations will be held at yards throughout the Norfolk Southern system.
- Norfolk Southern is staging resources including ballast trains, equipment, and generators, and will be prepared to commence storm recovery efforts once it is safe to do so.
- Shelters will be opened by local governments. Stay tuned to local media or contact your local emergency management office for shelter details.
- All Virginians should expect potential impacts and life-threatening conditions from this storm. Now is the time to prepare—Make a Kit, Get and Plan, and Stay Informed.
- Current forecast models indicate that Florence could strike the Carolinas and enter Central Virginia, possibly stalling and dropping more than 20 inches of rain in some areas. This will lead to widespread and dangerous flooding, inundation of roads and damaged infrastructure. Potential widespread power outages are also expected.
- Citizens should prepare for rising waters, flash flooding, and remember to never drive across flooded roadways. Most injuries and deaths occur when motorists try to cross flooded roads. Roads and bridges can be damaged or completely washed away beneath flood waters, and a few inches of water can sweep vehicles downstream. Remember, turn around, don’t drown.
Coastal Virginia Threats and Evacuations:
- Some forecast models are indicating a possible strike more directly on the Hampton Roads region and Coastal Virginia. If this track becomes a reality, Coastal Virginians can expect significant flooding, damaging winds and storm surge flooding throughout the region. If the storm moves on a coastal track, it would require the Commonwealth to enact its tiered evacuation plan, commonly known as Know Your Zone.
- Residents in Zone A have been ordered to evacuate beginning Sept. 11, 2018 at 8 a.m.
- Citizens should make necessary preparations now to evacuate to higher ground, starting with knowing in which zone your home and business are located. You can type in your address at www.KnowYourZoneVA.org to find out your designated zone. Resources are also available on the Know Your Zone website to learn more about the program, what to plan for and expect in the event of an evacuation, and how to ensure you are ready once you receive evacuation instructions.
- Citizens should stay tuned to local media for detailed instructions from your local emergency manager about where to go, available shelters and evacuation routes, and when you will be able to return to your home.
- Have questions about Know Your Zone? Learn more here >
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