Update: Virginia Beach, Norfolk declare flooding emergencies

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The Virginia National Guard began arriving in Hampton Roads Sunday to help with relief from widespread flooding. (Photo courtesy Virginia Department of Emergency Management Twitter)
The Virginia National Guard began arriving in Hampton Roads Sunday to help with relief from widespread flooding. (Photo courtesy Virginia Department of Emergency Management Twitter)

Officials in Virginia Beach and Norfolk declared local states of emergency Sunday due to widespread flooding.

Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen issued the declaration, calling on the National Guard for help, and its response includes two high water trucks, three Humvees and two debris-removal teams, according to news releases. An emergency shelter opened at 1 p.m. at Cox High School, 2425 Shore Haven Dr. Virginia Beach City Public Schools will be closed Monday.

Norfolk City Manager Marcus D. Jones made a similar move Sunday, declaring a state of emergency, asking residents to stay off the roads and opening an emergency shelter at Norview High School, 6501 Chesapeake Blvd.

The emergency declarations come on the heels of heavy rain in Hampton Roads Saturday that caused flooding and road closures and triggered a flash flood emergency for Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, as well as flash flood warnings for Virginia Beach, Norfolk and surrounding communities, from the National Weather Service in Wakefield, Va.

Road Closings and Flooding

Officials in both cities have asked drivers to stay off the roads, citing flooding and downed trees and power lines. An updated list of more than 150 road closings in Virginia Beach is here. Traffic signals throughout the city are not working, due to power outages.

Any disabled cars that block traffic in Virginia Beach will be towed at the owners’ expense. For information about towed cars, call VB311 (385-3111) or the City of Norfolk Division of Towing and Recovery at (757) 441-1062.

Power Outages, Downed Trees, Online Damage Reports, Other Closings

More than 67,000 power outages had been reported as of 3 p.m. on Sunday, a slight decrease from the 72,000 such reports on Sunday at 12 p.m., according to a release from the City of Virginia Beach. To report a power outage, call Dominion Power at 866-366-4357.

To report a downed tree in Norfolk, call 757-441-5610.

Virginia Beach residents can fill out an online property damage report, which is available here. The form asks for information about the type and extent of damage, insurance coverage, and the estimated cost and timing of repairs. Information collected will help city officials assess the availability of relief from the state and federal governments for individuals affected by the storm.

Closed all day on Sunday are the Virginia Aquarium, the Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center, all Virginia Beach Public Libraries, and all city parks and recreation centers. Norfolk’s Slover and Pretlow libraries are also closed.

Virginia Beach City Public Schools will be closed all day on Monday Oct. 10, and a teacher work day has been canceled.

Shelter Information for Virginia Beach Residents and Pets

Residents who go the emergency shelter at Cox High School should bring enough supplies to last for three days for each family member, including items such as: bottled water, canned or packaged food, a flashlight, batteries, folding chairs, a battery-operated radio, a change of clothing and shoes, sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, games, toys, medications, toiletries, a first aid kit, glasses, hearing aids, dentures, IDs, car keys, credit cards, cash, baby supplies and photocopies of important papers, such as insurance policies.

Pets (other than service dogs) are prohibited at the shelter, as are weapons, guns, knives, smoking, alcohol, drugs and loud radios or televisions.

For pet owners who must go to the shelter, the Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center, 341 S. Birdneck Rd., will be open overnight and boarding pets for free, but pets must be picked up within 24 hours after the Cox High School shelter closes.

Transportation to the animal shelter will be available at Cox High School for pets who owners cannot get to the ACAC.

To learn more about Virginia Beach shelter rules, go here.

Where to go to Learn More

For more information about flooding, roads and closures, go to the city of Virginia Beach’s website, www. VBgov.com. The city is also posting updates on Twitter (@CityofVABeach) and Facebook.

Norfolk residents can also find information on the city’s website, www.norfolk.gov.

This is a developing story; it has been updated and will be updated periodically to reflect new and additional information.



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Joan Quigley is a former Miami Herald business reporter, a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and an attorney. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, TIME.com, nationalgeographic.com and Talking Points Memo. Her recent book, Just Another Southern Town: Mary Church Terrell and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Nation’s Capital, was shortlisted for the 2017 Mark Lynton History Prize. Her first book, The Day the Earth Caved In: An American Mining Tragedy, won the 2005 J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award.