Monday, September 10, 2018

Hurricane Florence Approaching East Coast (UPDATES BELOW)

A powerful hurricane is on track to hit the east coast this weekend bringing heavy rain to our region.

Monitor your local news sources for the latest weather conditions, and check the  National Weather Service  for up-to-date information.
Here are couple important tips, websites and numbers to keep you safe:

From the Virginia Dept. of Emergency Management:

With Virginia under a state of emergency, and forecasts showing Florence zeroing in on the Mid-Atlantic, the time for all Virginians to prepare is now.

While it is too soon to know the exact track that Hurricane Florence will take, the majority of forecast models are indicating significant potential impacts to Virginia in the form of coastal storm surge, catastrophic inland flooding, high winds and possible widespread power outages.

Virginia emergency managers and first responders are already mobilizing to prepare for the storm. Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency late Saturday in order to mobilize personnel and resources for storm impacts, and to speed the response to those communities that are damaged by the storm. This includes resources from VDEM, the Virginia Department of Transportation, Virginia State Police, Virginia Department of Health, Virginia National Guard and others.

All Virginians should expect potential impacts and life-threatening conditions from this storm. Now is the time to prepare—Make a Kit, Get and Plan, and Stay Informed. To learn more, visit

It’s Not the Winds, It’s the Water

The largest threat to life from hurricanes is not the high winds. Flooding is the deadliest result of these storms.

Current forecast models indicate that Florence could strike the Carolinas and enter Central Virginia, possibly stalling and dropping more than 20 inches of rain in some areas. This will lead to widespread and dangerous flooding, inundation of roads and damaged infrastructure. Potential widespread power outages are also expected.

Citizens should prepare for rising waters, flash flooding, and remember to never drive across flooded roadways. Most injuries and deaths occur when motorists try to cross flooded roads. Roads and bridges can be damaged or completely washed away beneath flood waters, and a few inches of water can sweep vehicles downstream. Remember, turn around, don’t drown.

From Dominion's Hurricane Preparedness Guide

  • Update the phone number on your Dominion Energy account. Login into Manage Account or call 866-366-4357 to change your phone number. In the event of an outage, this will help you report your outage.
  • Review evacuation zones. The Virginia Department of Emergency Management has an evacuation zone look up tool to assist you in preparing for hurricanes.
  • If a family member uses medical equipment, review emergency plans to relocate if necessary.
  • If you own a generator, familiarize yourself with connecting and operating it before a storm arrives.
  • Make sure your cars have a full tank of gas and remember to fill extra gas cans for generators.
  • Tie down loose items outside or properly store them to prevent extra damage.
Disaster kit items
    The National Weather Service recommends creating a basic disaster kit. Store the items in airtight plastic bags and put the entire kit in easy-to-carry containers (plastic bins, duffel bag). A basic kit could include the following items:
    • Water: one gallon per person per day (at least a 3 day supply)
    • Non-perishable food: canned meats and vegetables, protein or fruit bars, dry cereal, food for infants.
    • Battery-powered radio
    • Flash light
    • First Aid kit
    • Extra batteries
    • Manual can opener
    • Local maps
    • Cell phone chargers and extra battery packs
    Personal emergency items
      Along with the essential items, remember to pack your disaster kit for your individual needs.
      • Prescription and non-prescription medications.
      • Infant food, bottles, wipes, diapers, etc.
      • Food and water for your pet
      • Cash
      • Important family documents (insurance policies, IDs, bank records)
      • Blankets for each person
      • Change of clothes
      • Matches in water-proof container
      • Down time activities (books, games, puzzles).
        If you have lost power
          During a storm, if you have lost power, always report your outage. Along with reporting your outage:
          • Turn off major appliances such as air conditioners, water heaters and stoves.
          • Unplug TVs, stereos, microwaves and computers to prevent damage during possible overloads.
          • Leave a lamp or light on so you’ll know when power is restored.
          • Stay away from any downed lines. Always assume the lines are energized and make sure to report them by calling 866-366-4357. Refer to our Outage FAQs for answers to other common questions.
          Additionally, please use the link and the numbers provided below to stay up-to-date on current conditions or to report any power outages:

          Dominion Resources Power Outage Line

          Dominion Resources Storm Center Outage and
          Restoration Updates

          Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative 
          Washington Gas
          Columbia Gas

          Verizon Wireless

          Cox Communications

          Also, if you have any problems, you can always contact my office at 571.249.4484.  Stay safe!

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