VIRGINIA BEACH — In preparation for Hurricane Dorian, city department leaders ordered a mandatory evacuation for residents in Sandbridge Thursday, and recommended evacuations for those in Zone A or areas typically impacted by tropical storms with strong Northeast winds, or “Nor’easters.”
A local state of emergency was declared Tuesday.
Interim City Manager Tom Leahy said two shelters are opening Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Ed E. Brickell Academy and Kellum High School, and the Housing Resources Center is open for those facing homelessness at 104 N. Witchduck Road.
“Residents are reminded they need to bring their own supplies to the shelters — toiletries, bedding, medicines, those types of things,” Leahy said.
Pets are welcome at the Kellum High shelter and the city’s Care and Adoption Center will also accept animals.
RELATED STORY: Virginia Beach, Norfolk brace for Dorian
While city departments including the courts, clerks, and school offices are closed Friday, Deputy City Manager Steven Cover said public safety agencies will be fully staffed.
“Our No. 1 priority is the safety of our citizens and our employees that work for the city of Virginia Beach that will be out during the storm,” he said. “Please take this storm seriously.”
As of 11:43 a.m. Thursday, Virginia Beach is under a tropical storm warning and a storm surge warning.
Erin Sutton, emergency manager at the city’s Office of Emergency Management, provided key weather updates — Dorian’s effects are expected in the area from 3 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.
Sutton said the peak of the storm is expected from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.
Forecasters at the National Weather Service have said to expect 6 to 8 inches of “very heavy rainfall” with the possibility of 10 to 12 inches in isolated areas, 40-50 mph wind with gusts approaching 90 mph, and the potential for 4 to 6 feet of storm surge on top of 10 to 15 feet seas.
“Of late, tornado activity with this storm has increased significantly and is another area we need to keep an eye on,” Sutton said.
Water levels could begin to rise well in advance of the arrival of strong winds. The surge will be accompanied by large & destructive waves. See the latest #Dorian storm surge forecast from @NHC_Atlantic – https://t.co/meemB5d6ch.#Georgia#SouthCarolina#NorthCarolina#Virginia https://t.co/IjEoHn4YJ2 pic.twitter.com/ED5U0VU5JM
— National Weather Service (@NWS) September 4, 2019
Sutton also said residents should stay off of the roads if possible and avoid driving or even walking through flooded areas.
The public can submit photos of storm damage or flooding in the city to firstname.lastname@example.org which Sutton said helps officials stay updated.
Sand is available at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex, 2044 Landstown Centre Way, where residents can bring their own shovels to fill bags and containers.
Emergency off-street parking will be available in Oceanfront and Town Center garages from 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5 through noon on Saturday, Sept. 7, depending upon weather conditions, officials said in a news release.
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The managers stressed the importance of residents being prepared and paying attention to notifications, forecasts, and updates on VBgov.com or by registering for VB Alert.
For the most up to date information:
- Register for VB Alert by clicking here
- 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:
- Facebook – www.facebook.com/CityofVaBeach
- Twitter – www.twitter.com/CityofVaBeach
- Instagram – www.instagram.com/cityofvabeach
- Citizen Services: 311 is available 24 hours a day for questions and reporting non-emergency conditions. Call or text 911 in a life-threatening emergency.
City officials Thursday afternoon asked residents in Zone A “to voluntarily evacuate to higher ground until the threat has passed. This could mean seeking shelter in a different zone within the city.”
The city is opening three shelters at 7 p.m. Thursday:
- Bayview Rec Center (pet friendly) – 8613 Willow Terrace Blvd.
- Norview High School (medical services) – 6501 Chesapeake Blvd.
- Southside STEM Academy – 1106 Campostella Road.
If transportation to a shelter is needed, please call Norfolk Cares Call Center at 757.664.6510.