Sunday, November 27, 2022

Region Prepares for Remnants of Hurricane Ian, Some Events Postponed or Canceled

(US National Weather Service Wakefield VA)

HISTORIC TRIANGLE — After ravaging parts of Florida Wednesday and Thursday, the remnants of Hurricane Ian are expected to harass the East Coast this weekend. With heavy rains and windy conditions expected to impact the area Friday night into Monday morning, local officials are prepping for stormy conditions and some events have been postponed or canceled.

(This story will update as more information becomes available)

SAT test administration at Lafayette HS canceled

The SAT test administration scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 1 at Lafayette High School in Williamsburg has been canceled. College Board will contact students directly with information regarding the Oct. 15 make-up test date. College Board plans to begin contacting students the middle of next week.

Virginia Department of Health Urges Caution

RICHMOND — The remnants of Tropical Storm Ian are expected to impact areas of the state beginning Friday, Sept. 30 through the weekend. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) expects the storm could create dangerous conditions in creeks, rivers, and low-lying areas along the coast. VDH is reminding people to take precautions to be prepared for severe weather and once the sun comes out, be aware of potential health risks before you participate in recreational water activities.

VDH notes heavy rains can increase the risk of animal waste and the potential release of inadequately treated wastewater from sewage treatment plants. Bacteria, debris, and other pollutants in rainwater runoff end up in rivers, lakes and streams, which can pose risks to human health and safety. Rain events also cause flooding and fast-moving waters, especially in low-lying areas.

VDH recommends avoiding swimming in fast-moving water due to the risk of drowning. Boaters, kayakers and canoeists also face an elevated risk should not try to navigate in fast-moving waters.

VDH recommends the following safety tips:

  • Everyone should wear a life vest at all times on the water.
  • Avoid getting water in your mouth. Never swallow water from an untreated water source.
  • Don’t swim if you have broken skin. Bacteria, viruses and other organisms can infect wounds causing more serious illness.
  • Shower with soap and water after recreating in natural waters.
  • Don’t swim when you are ill.
  • Avoid swimming if dead fish are present.
  • Use extreme caution and avoid unnecessary risks if you encounter covered roads or fast-moving waters. The water may be deeper and moving faster than you think.

Residents or facilities that provide water to the public including campgrounds, restaurants, or daycares with private wells or septic systems submerged by flood waters should also take extra precautions, VDH said.

For more information and safety tips regarding private wells and septic systems visit here.

To contact your local health department, visit here or call 877-ASK-VDH3 (1-877-275-8343).

To contact your local health department, visit here.

For more information regarding recreation water safety tips, including the Virginia Department of Health’s “Safely Enjoy Virginia’s Natural Waters” brochure, visit www.SwimHealthyVA.com.

Jamestown Settlement & American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

WILLIAMSBURG — In anticipation of severe weather conditions associated with Hurricane Ian, Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown will close at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30. Updates will be posted at jyfmuseums.org and on social media @jyfmuseums.

York County cancellations/postponements

Residents are reminded to stay up-to-date with York County closures/cancellations at www.yorkcounty.gov/storm.

Some highlights include:

  • The Yorktown Wine Festival scheduled for this weekend has been postponed to Nov. 13.  Tickets purchased for the event will be honored on the rescheduled date. More information is available at villageevents.org/yorktown-wine-festival/.
  • In addition, most of our park facilities are closed this weekend. However, the parking lots located at the McReynolds Athletic Complex (412 Sports Way) and Chisman Creek Park (1314 Wolf Trap Road) are open for the parking of vehicles due to the potential for coastal flooding.
  • The County’s popular Skate, Rattle and Roll program, scheduled for this evening, has been canceled.

The county also reminds those interested in seeing a live shot of the weather in Yorktown can visit the YorkCam at Riverwalk Landing available 24/7 at www.yorkcounty.gov (scroll to the bottom of the home page for the live feed).

VDOT Prepared

SUFFOLK— The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Hampton Roads District said it is prepared to keep the region’s state-maintained roadways safe ahead of the forecasted effects of the storm.

Based on current forecasts, VDOT said staff is preparing for potential risks stemming from heavy rainfall and high winds, adding that ahead of the storm, crews have been inspecting drainage facilities and clearing them where necessary, readying trucks and equipment, and coordinating debris and tree removal crews to be on standby.

VDOT reminds motorists and pedestrians are reminded to avoid areas with downed power lines, trees and standing water and should limit travel based on conditions.

Additional details:

  • There are no plans to close any of Hampton Roads major bridge or tunnel crossings, including the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel and Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel. Complete bridge information can be found here. Speed limits may be reduced based on current wind conditions at each facility for motorist safety.
  • Depending on marine storm conditions, the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry may potentially experience reductions in capacity and service outages. Motorists can call the ferry hotline at 1-800-VA-FERRY for status updates on ferry service.
  • VDOT closes bridges, ramps or roads only when there is imminent danger to public safety, such as high water, structural damage or downed trees and debris blocking the roadway. If a closure is in place, motorists should not attempt to drive on the closed roadway or structure.

VDOT encourages the following tools:

  • Residents should report any problems such as flooding, downed trees, or road hazards to VDOT’s 24- hour Customer Service Center at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623) or by visiting my.vdot.virginia.gov.
  • Statewide and local traffic conditions are available by calling 511 (dial or say nine to go straight to Hampton Roads info), visiting www.511virginia.org or downloading the free 511 Virginia mobile app. 511 Virginia provides real-time road conditions and interstate cameras.

WJCC Schools – Early release Fri., Sept. 30

Due to the high winds and significant rain in the forecast, WJCC Schools will follow an early release schedule, Friday, Sept. 30. All after-school and weekend activities are canceled.

VSP Preparing in Advance of Ian’s Arrival in Virginia

RICHMOND — Virginia State Police (VSP) notes that even though Ian is projected to significantly weaken as it makes its way inland from South Carolina, it is still preparing in advance of its arrival:
  •  All available state police personnel are on stand-by for routine and emergency deployment across the commonwealth and for the duration of the storm’s presence.
  • VSP Search & Recovery Team (SRT) divers are pre-deploying today based on projected rainfall patterns, vulnerable flood zones and storm surge. Because the projected path of the storm takes the remnants of Ian across Southwest Virginia, several of our SRT divers are staging today (9/29/22) in our Wytheville Field Division for any swift water rescue needs.
The state police remind all Virginians to remain weather aware for the heavy rain and winds that could impact the commonwealth beginning Friday and lasting through Monday. If travel is necessary, VSP asks travelers to keep the following tips in mind:
  • State law requires headlights to be on when windshield wipers are activated. Headlights both help you see and be seen.
  • Slow your speed for conditions.
  • Buckle up… everyone in the vehicle.
  • Put the phone down and limit other distractions.
  • If you encounter standing water in the road — Turn around. Don’t drown. The depth of the water can be deceiving and dangerous for all vehicles. It’s not worth the risk.
  • Turn to VDOT’s 511 for the latest in road closures and openings. Please do not call 911 or #77 for non-emergency issues or road closure information.

Freedom Stories Canceled

JAMES CITY COUNTY — Freedom Stories, scheduled for Saturday afternoon at Freedom Park, has been canceled.

Storm conditions predicted this weekend will impact both set up and day of activities. The event will not be rescheduled at this time. Parks & Recreation patrons already registered for indoor activities will be contacted directly by instructors for any changes in schedule.

For more information, call the James City County Recreation Center at 757-259-4200.

Virginia Peninsula CC Postpones Community Day 5K

HAMPTON — Due to heavy wind and rain approaching the Hampton Roads area from Hurricane Ian, Virginia Peninsula Community College has postponed its Community Day 5K scheduled for Saturday.

The new date is Saturday, Oct. 8, with the event starting at 9 a.m. at The Hamptons Golf Course.

For more information on the event, or to register, go to https://tncc.edu/5k.

Waller Mill Park, Quarterpath Rec Center to Close Early Friday 

WILLIAMSBURG —Waller Mill Park will close at 1 p.m. today, Friday, Sept. 30. Quarterpath Recreation Center will close at 4:30 p.m. 

The park will remain closed Saturday, Oct. 1 and Sunday, Oct. 2. Quarterpath Recreation Center will remain closed Saturday, Oct. 1. 

City staff has spent the week preparing for the storm’s potential impacts and continues to monitor Hurricane Ian, the city said in a press release. Earlier today, the storm made its second landfall in South Carolina. City staff continues its preparation efforts 

The latest forecast predicts heavy rainfall will begin later this afternoon. Wind gusts could reach up to 40-45 mph, tapering off around 8 p.m. 

Storm updates, including road closures, will be posted to the city’s website as well as its Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram channels. 

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