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Hurricane Florence – Additional Information From VA Dept. of Emergency Management 11 am 9-13-18

LATEST INFORMATION

  • While Florence is now a Category 2 hurricane, it remains a very dangerous storm.
  • The marked change in the forecast overnight, having Florence take a sharp northerly turn late this weekend will bring additional threats of rain and flooding in Southwest Virginia
  • The forecast is continuing to be more favorable against a direct landfall impact in Coastal Virginia, but Governor Northam and emergency managers have not rescinded evacuation of Zone A in Hampton Roads, the Eastern Shore, Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck because there is still a very real threat of storm surge and dangerous flooding. Additionally, tropical storm force winds are still likely, which will further compound issues with transportation and reentry as bridges and tunnels will likely close with the onset of tropical storm force winds.
  • We do not want to put anyone back on the road during the storm.
  • Hurricane Florence remains a threat to Virginia. We expect tropical storm conditions, such as high winds, tidal storm surge and severe rainfall across the entire state.
  • For that reason, we are maintaining the mandatory evacuation order in Zone A – which includes the low-lying coastal areas of Hampton Roads, the Middle Peninsula, the Northern Neck, and the Eastern Shore. If you’re already out of harm’s way, stay there.
  • We’re keeping a close eye on the storm’s potential impacts in western Virginia. As the storm shifts west, it’s possible that western Virginia may see higher rain totals, raising the threat for flooding in that region.
  • Virginia’s request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration was approved Tuesday which will allow additional support in terms of emergency response assets and funding from the federal government.
  • 59 local shelters are either open or scheduled to open, and today we announced two state-managed shelters are open at Christopher Newport University,and William and Mary.
  • Our Virginia Emergency Operations Center is open 24-7 to respond to this storm.

STORM FORECAST

  • The forecast track continues to show Florence staying south of Virginia with major impacts to the Carolinas.
  • Dangerous storm surge inundation in Albemarle Sound
  • Onshore flow creating moderate to locally major coastal flooding in the Chesapeake Bay and tidal rivers Friday and through the weekend.
  • Tropical storm wind, especially in gusts, across northeast Northeast North Carolina and Southwest Virginia. This wind combined with the heavy rainfall will cause trees to fall.
  • Heavy rainfall possibly dangerous flooding, especially across far Southern VA and Northeastern North Carolina.
  • Coastal Flood Watch is in effect for Friday into the weekend for the Chesapeake Bay and tidal rivers.
  • The Tropical Storm Watch remains in effect for parts of Southside Hampton Roads and Hampton/Poquoson.
  • As it makes landfall, the storm will slow down allowing for heavy rainfall to persist through the weekend.

SHELTERING RULES 

  • State Shelters: No weapons of any kind are permitted in the possession of any individual other than law enforcement officers while in the shelters.  Open flame devices such as candles, lanterns, heaters and other such devices are prohibited in areas where a sprinkler or fire alarm system is impaired. Service pets are allowed. Virginians who have questions about the state shelters should call 2-1-1.
  • Local Shelters: Virginians should follow their local government’s social media account and review their locality’s homepage for the latest information on local shelters.
  • In response to Hurricane Florence, Lyft is providing free rides, up to $15 dollars, using code ‘VAFLORENCE18’ for those who are headed directly to their official shelter. Rides are valid between now and 8 p.m., Sept. 12. Please follow your local government on social media or visit the official website to learn about shelter locations in your locality.

ON-LINE RESOURCES

  • KnowYourZoneVA.org and VAemergency.gov  have been relocated to a new host server; both sites are once again being promoted widely for emergency preparedness information and resources and are stable.
  • 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 org or Call 511 for the latest road conditions and report outages to Dominion Energy at dom.comAppalachian Power, or to local electric cooperatives.

RECOVERY MESSAGES

  • Neighbors and strangers are asking how they can help their fellow Virginians after Hurricane Florence strikes: the most effective way to help is to make a financial contribution or volunteer through a VAVOAD-certified organization.
  • Do not self-deploy to a disaster zone.  vavoad.org.
  • Price-gouging complaints regarding motor fuels are to be filed with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. General price-gouging complaints regarding all other goods and services are to be filed with the Office of the Attorney General.

Link to the two separate price-gouging complaint forms: scroll to the bottom of the page: https://www.oag.state.va.us/consumer-protection/index.php/file-a-complaint

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