Area events cancelled, state of emergency declared due to Tropical Storm Hermine

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The projected path of Tropical Storm Hermine. (Courtesy National Weather Service.)
The projected path of Tropical Storm Hermine. (Courtesy National Weather Service.)

The arrival of Tropical Storm Hermine has led to the cancellation of local events as well as a state of emergency declaration from Governor Terry McAuliffe.

According to the National Weather Service, the storm is expected to bring heavy rains and potentially damaging winds to the Historic Triangle by Friday evening.

The National Weather Service has issued a tropical storm watch and a flash flood watch for local areas including James City and York counties, from Friday night through Saturday evening.

In his state of emergency announcement, McAuliffe urged residents of the Commonwealth to prepare for significant storm impacts, which have the potential to bring severe flooding, dangerous storm surges and damaging winds to Virginia.

“We are strongly encouraging everyone in Virginia to prepare for the possibility of damaging winds, downed trees, power outages and flooding in much of the Commonwealth,” McAuliffe said in a release “We hope this storm passes quickly through our Commonwealth, but our top priority must be to ensure the safety of our citizens and their families.”

Flash flooding is possible across northeastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia beginning Friday night, NWS said in a release.  The flood advisory extends to portions of eastern and southeast Virginia, including Chesapeake, Greensville, Hampton/Poquoson, Isle of Wight, James City, Newport News, Norfolk/Portsmouth, Southampton, Suffolk, Surry, Sussex, Virginia Beach and York. Roads may become impassable in places due to high water. Residents of flood-prone areas should take steps now to protect their property, according to NWS.

Excessive rainfall is likely, ranging from 4 to 8 inches in the region and 2-4 inches in James City County, according to the NWS. Rain is expected to be heavy at times late Friday night, and will be heaviest in the Tidewater area and near the coast. Widespread heavy rain will not end until late Saturday.

Potentially damaging winds could strike as far west as Richmond, and could reach as high as 60 miles per hour along the Chesapeake Bay. The NWS advises that there will likely be damage to the roofs and siding of some houses, and large trees may be uprooted. Some roads will likely be made impassable by debris.

Hermine was listed as a hurricane and made landfall over Florida early Friday morning.  Shortly after making landfall, it was downgraded to a tropical storm, but will still carry heavy rain and potentially dangerous winds.

Several local events have already been cancelled due to the storm.

Water Country USA will be closed on Saturday, and Busch Gardens may limit the operations of certain attractions.  Both are scheduled to be open Sunday. Saturday night’s fireworks show at Busch Gardens has been postponed until Sunday at 9:30 p.m.

The York County Public Information Office has announced that the Virginia Symphony Concert, originally scheduled for Saturday, has been rescheduled for Thursday, September 15.  Yorktown Market Days at the River has been cancelled, and the Riverfront Landing Piers, New Quarter Park, and the Yorktown Beach picnic area will be closed on Saturday.  Furthermore, all York County outdoor youth and adult sports activities scheduled for Saturday has been cancelled.  Future closings for York County will be listed here.

The only cancellation for the City of Williamsburg is the farmer’s market, which will not be open as previously scheduled on Saturday morning.

VDOT has announced that the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry may experience service interruptions because of Hermine.  Flooding and high tides may make it difficult for the ferry to operate safely and motorists are advised to use the James River Bridge as an alternate route.

James City County has yet to announce closings and cancellations stemming from the tropical storm, but continue to check WYDaily.com for updates.

For up-to-the minute information regarding Tropical Storm Hermine, keep track of NWS alerts pertaining to the Historic Triangle.

Flood preparedness information is available at vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia/stayinformed/floods.

This post will be updated as more information becomes available.