Saturday, September 23, 2023

Virginia Beach prepares for Hurricane Dorian. Here’s what you should know

Virginia Beach resident Pete Faulks drags a large piece of wood away from the shore at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront Sept. 14, 2018. (Southside Daily file)
Virginia Beach resident Pete Faulks drags a large piece of wood away from the shore at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront Sept. 14, 2018. (Southside Daily file)

VIRGINIA BEACH —  The city’s Office of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service in Wakefield are preparing for the effects Hurricane Dorian might bring to the area.

While the exact path of the storm is still shifting, the models indicate our area could receive as much as 4-8 inches of rain along with sustained tropical-force winds, officials said.

City departments are making storm preparations, including checking storm drains and pump stations, inspecting and securing equipment, and servicing generators and chain saws. Officials said the city has more than 40,000 storm drains, and they are encouraging residents to Adopt A Drain in their neighborhood to make sure all visible impediments are removed.

If the water doesn’t drain after the rain subsides, report street flooding and drains that require maintenance by calling 757-385‐1470 or 311 or make a service request online or through the VB Worksapp, available for iPhone and Android.

Additional information for residents:

  1. Do not block storm drains or inlets with yard debris bags or any other objects. We have even seen timber blocking drains. Per City Code, only put yard debris bags out for collection on your scheduled pickup day and make sure bags are out of the water line.

  2. Remove and secure objects outside your home and business that may become projectiles during high winds, like lawn furniture, garbage/recycling containers and potted plants.

  3. Sign up for VBAlert to get emergency alerts from the City of Virginia Beach via text message and/or email. Simply text VBAlert to 67283 or go online to register.

  4. Visit for a list of emergency supplies to have on hand, including drinking water, a first-aid kit, non-perishable food, a radio, flashlight and batteries, phone charger and blankets.

  5. Know Your Zone — Residents should make necessary preparations now should evacuation become necessary, starting with the state’s system for identifying areas in which homes and businesses are located. The state maintains, a website that allows people to type in their addresses to find their designated zones. Resources are also available on the 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. The site has had heavy traffic so if it is not available when someone first tries it, try again.

  6. Have a family emergency plan in place — Plan evacuation routes from home, work and school and how you will be in touch with members of your family.

  7. Be informed — Learn more about steps you can take now to prepare for an emergency. Look for emergency preparedness information here and here.

  8. Roads status — The city is working with WAZE (app is available for Android and iPhone) to document and report road conditions. Residents can report flooding or other hazardous road conditions directly on the app or by calling 311.

  9. Cancellations and service changes — Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 4, the City will maintain on a list of event cancellations, closings, service changes and other announcements related to the storm.

  10. Get the latest — Listen to NOAA Weather Radio and monitor local news for severe weather updates and directions provided by local officials. For the most up-to-date information from the City of Virginia Beach, tune to local television and radio stations and the outlets listed below:


  • VBTV: Cox Cable 46, 47 & 48 and Verizon Cable 45, 46 & 47 will display emergency information, including our city operational status and facility closures.

  • Social media sites:

Citizen Services: 311 is available 24 hours a day for questions and reporting non-emergency conditions. Officials said to only call or text 911 in a life-threatening emergency.

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