Hurricane Dorian is coming to Hampton Roads as early as late Thursday evening and both Hampton and Newport News are urging residents to be prepared.
The now category 2 storm will weaken to a tropical storm as it comes up the coast with tidal flooding and storm surges, which means residents can expect power outages, downed trees and power lines and major flooding.
Here are the localities recent news briefings about the storm.
- Public Works Stormwater crews are inspecting the storm drain system and clearing debris as needed.
- Construction sites have been secured to prevent loose materials from becoming projectiles.
- Generators for traffic lights, pump stations, city buildings, and water treatment facilities have been inspected and fueled.
- Debris clearing equipment (e.g., chainsaws, excavators, front-end loaders, etc.) is ready.
- Newport News Waterworks is monitoring reservoir levels and has prepared its facilities for potential impacts from Hurricane Dorian.
City Manager Mary Bunting strongly encouraged Hampton residents who live in the low-lying Zone A to consider evacuating to higher ground, as flooding is expected to occur.
The city will open two adjacent shelters at 5 p.m. Thursday. People should go to Phenix School at 1061 Big Bethel Road, which will be equipped to handle those with medical needs. People with pets should go to nearby Bethel High School. People evacuating to shelters should bring bedding, toys for children, medicine and any special food items. Do not bring weapons or alcohol.
Hampton could begin to feel the effects from Hurricane Dorian as soon as Thursday afternoon, with more serious impact overnight and through Friday. Current rainfall projections for Hampton are in the 3- to 6-inch range. Winds are expected to be strongest early Friday, potentially sustained around 35 mph with gusts to 50 mph. Winds at that speed can snap or uproot trees, send debris flying and cause power outages.
Moderate to major flooding will likely occur around Friday’s high tide of 4 p.m. Predictions are for a level of nearly 7 feet, which is about the level of flooding during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. High tides before and after may expected to be cause minor flooding as well: Friday at 3:24 a.m. Saturday at 4:27 a.m. and potentially Saturday at 5 p.m.
The amount and timing of rainfall can also influence flooding.
Residents who need to leave a car on high ground can use the city’s only parking garage, located at 555 Settlers Landing Road downtown.
Hampton City Schools will cancel extracurricular activities Thursday afternoon, but the city’s after-school child care will operate. Schools will be closed Friday and there will be no Friday athletic or extracurricular events. Thomas Nelson Community College has canceled Friday classes. Langley Air Force Base will close today at 5 p.m., with essential personnel only through Friday.
Hampton will suspend trash collection Friday. Residents should not put their cans, bulk trash or yard debris at the curb. Trash collection for Friday’s routes will begin at 7 a.m. on Saturday, if conditions allow.
The temporary traffic cones and signs on Settlers Landing bridge marking the Interstate 64 and Hampton University traffic lane have been removed for safety reasons.
There are several ways Hampton residents can keep up with storm news and city announcements:
- Visit hampton.gov
- Sign up at hampton.gov/notifyme to get news and or emergency alerts via text or email
- Sign up for the less-frequent e-newsletter at hampton.gov/enews
- Follow Hampton, VA – Gov on Facebook or @cityofhampton on Twitter
- Watch for posts on NextDoor
- Call 311 (757-727-8311 from a cellphone)