Dorian: High winds, storm surge, possible power outages — here’s the latest for Hampton Roads as of Wednesday

Hurricane Dorian is moving up the east coast towards Hampton Roads (WYDaily/ Courtesy of NOAA)
Hurricane Dorian is moving up the east coast towards Hampton Roads. (Southside Daily/ Courtesy of NOAA)

Hurricane Dorian will affect Hampton Roads late Thursday evening. The Category 5 hurricane battered the Bahamas and has been making its way up the east coast.

While the hurricane has downgraded from a category 5 to a 1, there is still a tropical storm and storm surge watch for the entire area Hampton Roads area.

“The worst of the storm will actually be the early morning hours of Friday,” said Jeff Orrock, meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service in Wakefield.

Orrock said late Thursday evening and early Friday there were will be rainfall and high winds and come late morning and afternoon, the area will have anywhere from 4-6 inches of rainfall and winds anywhere from 50-55 mph inland and up to 60 mph at the waterfront.

“I think folks need to be thinking a lot about power outages,” Orrock said. “It’s getting borderline dangerous.”

He said people should prepare their homes on Thursday night by securing their boats, clearing loose objects from their yards and to consider “hunkering down.”

In addition, the NOAA anticipates major tidal flooding of about 3 to 3.5 feet above normal tide, something which occurs once every 3-5 years. People who have experienced flooding before, such as during Hurricane Matthew, should be aware Dorian could be worse but not as bad as Irene, Orrock noted.

“Folks need to be taking the surge and wind seriously,” Orrock said. “We’re getting a lot of rain right before the high tide surge comes in.”

While the Hampton Roads area may get more flooding than the Historic Triangle, Orrock said Williamsburg could get peak winds of 50 mph which could cause power outages and downed trees.

“You still get a lot of power outages,” Orrock said, adding maybe not as high flooding or winds as Virginia Beach or Norfolk since the area has different infrastructure. “The tidal surge will come up the James River all the way to Jamestown.”

For more information about Hurricane Dorian, visit the NWS Wakefield office’s website or follow them on Twitter.

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.