Virginians urged to remain vigilant, watch for flooding

October 3, 2015  //  

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Oct. 3, 2015

Joint Information Center
(804) 371-7215
pio@vdem.virginia.gov

Virginians urged to remain vigilant, watch for flooding

State resources in place to help potential flood victims

RICHMOND, Va. – As rains taper off through the weekend, Virginia agencies continue to monitor and manage storm-related incidents and response across the Commonwealth.

Virginians in low-lying areas are urged to remain vigilant and prepare for moderate flooding from rivers and streams. Coastal communities are advised to be prepared for major flooding to occur Sunday.

  • A Coastal Flood Warning by the National Weather Service (NWS) remains in effect until 6 a.m., Monday (October 5) for much of the Greater Hampton Roads, Eastern Shore and Northern Neck regions. The high tide cycle will peak in the Northern Neck and on the Eastern Shore between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday (October 4). Tidal flooding will range from 4 feet to 6 feet. Residents in these areas are advised to seek higher ground and secure their residences and businesses in advance of the heightened flood waters.
  • The NWS also advises the High Surf Advisory remains in effect until 8 a.m., Monday (October 5) for all coastal areas from Maryland to North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
  • The NWS has also issued a wind advisory for Commonwealth communities from South Boston to Lynchburg to Wytheville. Wind gusts up to 35 mph pose a threat that may blow over trees in waterlogged soil.
  • Minor river flooding is projected through Monday (October 5).
  • Accomack County is the latest jurisdiction to declare a local emergency. The total number of Commonwealth declarations stands at 23.

State emergency management officials stressed that Virginians be prepared in case of evacuation due to rising flood water:

  • Do not drive or walk through moving or standing water on a roadway, as the depth of the water can be difficult to gauge and the water can be swift-moving. As water recedes, be extremely cautious while driving on roadways due to exposed and dangerous debris that can be left behind.
  • Be prepared to evacuate. If evacuated, do not return to your home until local officials announce it is safe. After floodwaters recede, roads could be weakened and could collapse. Buildings might be unstable, and drinking water could be contaminated.
  • If water is rising quickly or you see a moving wall of mud or debris, immediately move to higher ground.
  • The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services encourages family members and neighbors to check on older adults and individuals with disabilities to ensure they have enough food, water, medication, medical supplies and other necessities on hand to last several days. 
  • If you are an older adult or an individual with a disability and have a non-emergency medical appointment in an area experiencing flooding, consider rescheduling the appointment until it is safe to travel.
  • If you evacuate, DO NOT leave your pets behind. Pets most likely cannot survive on their own. Plan now where your pet will stay if you have to evacuate: a friends’ or relative’s home, a pet-friendly hotel or motel, or a kennel or veterinarian’s office. Talk to your vet or local humane society about an emergency plan for your pet.

As of 2:30 p.m., there are 2,206 households without power.

Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews continue to respond to impacts from heavy rainfall across the Commonwealth. Sixty-six roads are closed, mostly in the Salem and Lynchburg districts, due to high water. Seven secondary roads are washed out, one in Loudoun County and the rest in southwestern Virginia. VDOT and Elizabeth River Crossings are closely monitoring tide levels as they impact Hampton Roads tunnels. All tunnels are currently open.

Travelers are encouraged to monitor weather reports and road conditions. Call 511 or go to www.511virginiadot.org for road condition information BEFORE heading out.

The State of Emergency, which was declared by Governor Terry McAuliffe, remains in effect. This allows state agencies to quickly take actions in the interest of getting assistance to local governments and, in turn, to residents of the Commonwealth as soon as possible.

-end-
 

Be ready. Be willing to help.

Virginia Disaster Relief Fund