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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Newport News and Hampton emergency shelters are now open. Are they safe?

In response to Hurricane Florence, both Newport News and Hampton are providing multiple shelters for its residents.

The emergency shelters in Newport News are located at Denbigh High School, Menchville High School and Warwick High School. There is also a state-run shelter at Christopher Newport University.

Newport News Public Schools provided free transportation to select emergency shelters Wednesday.

The Newport News Sheriff’s Office will provide security at all of the shelters as long as the shelters are open, said Dorothy Wikan, public information officer for the Sheriff’s Office.

Newport News Police may be called to help with security if needed.

The shelters are open to everyone, not just residents who live in Zone A, which means that sex offenders can go to the shelters as well.

“Yes, they are being screened and there is a separate area for them,” Wikan wrote in an email.

It is unclear how the sex offenders will be screened and where the designated area for sex offenders is located in the shelters.

The sheriff’s office declined to discuss the specific information about the security staff at the shelters, such as the number of deputies at each location and the duration of each deputy’s shift at the shelters.

Officials cited “security reasons.”

“We cannot discuss operational standards,” Wikan said.

Hampton Police are providing security in the city’s emergency shelters.

Concerning sex offenders, the police department is checking names through the OASIS system and having them register with the shelter staff.

HNNDaily reporter contributed to this report.

Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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