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Albemarle County Newsroom

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Storm Preparedness Updates - 10/28/12
10/28/2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012, 1:00 p.m. update
 
Potential Impact to Virginia

Sandy is a large storm that will affect Virginia with sustained winds, rain, storm surge and coastal damage through at least Tuesday. 

  • Latest National Weather Service forecast:
    • Southside Hampton Roads: 5-7 inches of rain, sustained winds of 40-45 mph and gusts of 60 mph and higher
    • Eastern Shore: 8-10 inches of rain, sustained winds of 40-45 mph and gusts of 60 mph and higher
    • Virginia peninsulas: 5-8 inches of rain with sustained winds of 35-45 mph and gusts of 50 mph or higher, especially near the Bay
    • Interstate 95 corridor including Richmond west: up to 6 inches of rain in places, sustained winds of 30 mph and gusts from 45-55mph 
    • Winds will remain strong well into Tuesday
    • Moderate to severe tidal flooding is likely across Hampton Roads Sunday into Monday. Up to eight inches of rain is expected in coastal areas.
    • Minor flooding expected along the Interstate 95 corridor. Rainfall of 1-6 inches expected as far west as Farmville; the highest north of Richmond.
  • Extensive power outages are likely.  
  • Residents in western and southwestern Virginia could experience high wind gusts and snowfall.  All areas will have colder temperatures starting Monday, some of the coolest temperatures this season.

Saturday, October 27, 2012, 5:00 p.m. update

Potential Impact to Virginia

  • Citizens need to finish their preparations today for a major, prolonged weather event. 
  • Don’t focus on the cone and track of the storm.  It will affect Virginia with sustained winds, rain, storm surge and coastal damage.     
  • Conditions will begin deteriorating this evening, and we will be dealing with the storm at least through Tuesday.  
  • Norfolk, Virginia Beach and the eastern shore counties of Northampton and Accomack are under high wind watch Sunday into Monday for sustained winds of 35-45 mph and wind gusts to 60 mph.  The Interstate 95 corridor including Richmond will have wind gusts of 40-45 mph; west of this region will have 35-40 mph wind gusts. 
  • Moderate to severe tidal flooding is likely across Hampton Roads Sunday into Monday. Up to eight inches of rain is expected with rainfall of 2 inches or more expected as far west as Farmville and to the north.
  • Extensive power outages are likely.  
  • Residents in western and southwestern Virginia could experience high wind gusts and snowfall.  All areas will have colder temperatures starting Monday, some of the coolest temperatures this season.

Governor’s Actions

  • The governor issued a mandatory evacuation order for low-lying areas in coastal Virginia.  This order gives authority to local government officials to determine specific locations to be evacuated and times that evacuations will start, based on best information about the storm’s impact. 
  • The governor declared a state of emergency Friday, Oct. 26, at 9:50 a.m. to help quickly get supplies, equipment and staff to those who need it.
  • At this time, there are no plans to reverse lanes on Interstate 64.

What should residents be doing now?

  • Stay tuned to local TV and radio stations for instructions and information.  Some localities are beginning to open shelters or are making plans to open shelters.  The best source for local information is local media and government websites. 
  • Those in eastern Virginia who live in low-lying areas should be ready to evacuate if told to do so by local officials.
  • Make sure your family members, friends and neighbors are prepared for an extended weather event. 
  • Have flashlights and extra batteries, a battery-powered and/or hand-crank radio and extra batteries in case power goes out.  Have food that does not need refrigeration and one gallon of water per person per day.  Other important items are a first aid kit and medications, car phone charger, blankets and other supplies (www.ReadyVirginia.gov).

State and federal preparations

  • The Virginia Emergency Operations Center is coordinating the state’s response with increased staffing 24 hours a day.  A radio cache has been sent to the eastern shore to assist with communications. 
  • Virginia State Police personnel are being pre-positioned to the eastern shore.  The Virginia State Police Swift Water Rescue Teams are standing by.
  • Virginia National Guard personnel are being pre-positioned to the eastern shore.  Additional personnel are on state active duty. 
  • Chainsaw crews from the Virginia Department of Forestry are standing by with emergency response personnel to help with debris removal. 
  • Virginia Department of Transportation crews are ready to clear roads of debris and snow and ensure roads are safe for travel.  Crews will work in 12-hour shifts throughout the storm. 
  • The Virginia Department of Health is coordinating with hospitals and long-term care facilities to ensure they are prepared for storm impacts.
  • Close coordination is under way between the VEOC and Virginia’s power and telecommunications providers to handle potential disruptions in services.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is sending an incident management advance team to the VEOC to assist in coordinating response. 
  • Representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Department of Defense will be in the Virginia Emergency Operations Center to assist in coordinating response.

Traffic Information

  • During a hurricane, VDOT only closes bridges, ramps or roads when there is eminent danger to public safety such as high water, strong sustained winds, structural damage or downed trees and debris blocking the roadway. 
  • Conditions change quickly.  Traveling on area roads this weekend could be hazardous because of heavy rain and wind gusts.
  • Motorists can check out road conditions before heading out by call 511 or visiting www.511virginia.org.   VDOT recommends drivers delay travel until unsafe weather conditions have passed. 

Resources

  • 211 – Call toll-free for information on many topics related to the storm
  • vaemergency.gov – go online or on your smart phone for statewide storm updates
  • @vdem – Twitter feed for storm updates from the VA Dept. of Emergency Management
  • VAemergency – Facebook page for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management

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