I just got off a conference call with Governor Northam and the Va Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) regarding Hurricane Florence, which is now a Category 4 storm. On Tuesday, Governor Northam called a state of emergency, mobilized the Virginia National Guard, and ordered the evacuation of 275,000 residents of Hampton Roads (Zone A). The storm has now turned south, so the brunt of the impacts will be felt in North and South Carolina. Virginia remains poised to assist and offer aid to the Carolinas as needed.
In our area, we are preparing for high winds, flooding, and potential power outages. Here are some helpful resources & updates:
- Do not drive across flooded roadways. Most injuries and deaths occur when motorists try to cross flooded roads. Even a few inches of water can sweep vehicles downstream. Remember, turn around, don’t drown.
- Build your Emergency Kit to include: food/water, medications, pet food, cash, flashlights, and batteries. Be sure to power up your electronic devices now. Guide from VDEM here: http://www.vaemergency.gov/emergency-kit/
- Hospitals across the Commonwealth, including Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center and Novant UVA Health Systems, have activated their emergency protocols and are preparing with extra supplies and backup power.
- If you have loved ones in coastal communities of Virginia, please check on them and make sure they "know their zone" in case they are asked to evacuate: www.KnowYourZoneVA.org. In addition to local shelters, two Commonwealth sponsored emergency shelters have been opened at William & Mary and Christopher Newport University.
- VDOT is steadying construction sites, clearing drainage structures, lifting lane closures where possible, and assisting with the evacuation.
- Comcast has opened up 45,000 hotspots across Virginia for customers and the public to use through Monday. Learn more here: www.xfinity.com/wifi.
Governor Northam will have a press conference today at 5:45pm. Watch at www.facebook.com/GovernorVA/.
Please be safe!