On Saturday, September 8, 2018, Governor Northam declared a state of emergency for then Tropical Storm Florence that was potentially headed to Hampton Roads and parts of Central Virginia. Since then, the storm has gained strength and is now upgraded to a Category 4 Hurricane but the track has changed. <<Click here to find out more about hurricane categories.>> Even with the model track from Wednesday morning, it is important to note that Virginia may still be impacted by flooding and Tropical Storm force winds.
The Governor and his staff held a press conference on Monday to update the Commonwealth on projections, possibilities, and plans. At that time, he announced a MANDATORY EVACUATION for Zone A effective 8:00am on Tuesday, September 11th. This affects around 4500 people in Newport News, around 19,000 households in Hampton, and thousands more in Hampton Roads, the Eastern Shore, Middle Peninsula, and Northern Neck. You can find your zone at www.KnowYourZoneVA.org to see if your address is affected. Please note that in Virginia, "mandatory evacuations" are more than just suggestions.
Newport News Public Schools and Hampton City Schools are closed this week due to the impacted evacuated areas, establishment of shelters, and in an effort to keep teachers, staff, and students safe.
I know that in the past, we have heard about bad storms coming and we did not get the predicted force of the storms. I also know you remember all that happened with Tropical Storm Isabel. So please prepare just in case. Gas up, get cash, fill prescriptions, review insurance company instructions, get food and water, and put your important documents in a safe place. Get supplies for your fur babies too! Be prepared to be without power for several days and to stay in to avoid potential flooded streets. I have included several resources below to help you in your preparations. Please take this storm seriously.
- Hampton Public Shelter Info - If you have no other alternative, the city shelters are open.
- Phenix School, 1061 Big Bethel Rd, 23666 - Medical needs and general population
- Bethel High School at 1067 Big Bethel Rd. - Residents with pets and general population (bring bedding, crates, food, etc.).
- If a resident needs transportation or assistance, call 757-727-8311.
- Newport News Public Shelter Info - The following shelters are open for those who have no alternative.
- Denbigh High School – 259 Denbigh Boulevard – General Population
- Menchville High School – 275 Menchville Road – Medically Dependent and General Population
- Warwick High School – 51 Copeland Lane – General Population and Residents with Pets – Owners must remain at the shelter with their pets (no drop-offs). Animals must be in cages. Owners will be required to need to provide food, water are required for all pets.
- Residents without transportation to a shelter can call the 311 Center at (757) 933-2311 for options. If you need medical transport to the shelter, it is encouraged that you do that by Wednesday.
- NEWPORT NEWS PICK UP TIMES FOR TRANSPORT TO SHELTERS: Newport News Public Schools is providing transportation to shelters for those who require it. Pick up times are Wednesday at 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, and 7pm, at the following locations:
• Discovery STEM Academy – 1712 Chestnut Avenue
• Heritage High School – 5800 Marshall Avenue
• Crittenden Middle School – 6158 Jefferson Avenue
What to bring to the shelter:
- any medications or special needs equipment as well as caregivers
- air mattresses, blankets, and pillows
- special items for babies and toddlers, the elderly and handicapped
- reading materials and games
- toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, etc.)
- water (at least one gallon per person per day for three days)
- non-perishable food; special diet foods, including foods for seniors and infants
- first aid kit
- important documents
- reading materials and games
- battery operated radio, flashlight and extra batteries
- cell phone charger
Did you know about these available resources:?
- Sign up for text and email alerts from Newport News
- Know Your Zone - Find out your zone (A,B,C,D) on this interactive map
- Hampton Know Your Zone static map
- For how to prepare, visit VAEmergency.org
- Hurricane Fact Sheet from FEMA
- Online Alerts from City of Newport News
- City of Hampton Civic Alerts
- Dominion Energy Tips for Hurricanes
- Dominion Energy Outage Info: Did you know that Dominion Energy Virginia does not know your power is out until you let them know. You can report outages online or by phone. Website: https://www.dominionenergy.com/outage-center/report-and-check-outages or Phone: 866-366-4357
- Those without transportation to a shelter can call the Newport News 311 Center at (757) 933-2311 for options and 757-727-8311 for Hampton.
- LYFT is offering free rides to shelters, use the app
- HRT is running for free on Wednesday September 12th, thanks to our regional leadership! Service for HRT will be suspended Thursday through Sunday.
- If you need medical transport to a shelter, please do that Wednesday, Sept 12th!
Notes from the Hurricane Updates Conference Call:
- Don't put out your trash cans, recycle bins, or bulk trash. Trash service has been suspended and those items can become dangerous in high winds and block necessary drainage systems. To check your adjusted trash collection schedule, please see: Newport News and Hampton
- Shelters are not just for those in Zone A. If you feel vulnerable, need constant power sources, etc - you can go to the shelter for safety.
- If the winds reach above 45mph, first responders do not go out until the winds slow down.
- RECORDING FROM THE CONFERENCE CALL with Newport News Mayor Price, VDEM rep, Interim Fire Chief Scott Liebold, Robin McCormick with Hampton City Communications, NNPD Chief Steve Drew, and NN Sheriff Gabe Morgan. Please share widely so others may hear the updates: https://tinyurl.com/HurricaneUpdatesSept12
- Link to September 11th Newport News City Council Meeting - Presentation by Interim Fire Chief Scott Liebold on storm prep, at minute 2:42 http://newportnewsva.swagit.com/play/09122018-702
I sincerely hope you will take your preparations seriously and check on our neighbors who may need assistance in preparing as well. If you have remaining questions, please let me know and I will try to get quick answers for you. For more timely updates, please follow me on Twitter and Facebook.
Marcia S. "Cia" Price
Member, House of Delegates
95th District: Parts of Newport News and Hampton
updated: 3:52pm 9/12/18