VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – City officials in South Hampton Roads are monitoring conditions and preparing for severe weather as Hurricane Arthur moves closer.
Tropical Storm Warnings were issued for Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach Wednesday afternoon, but local municipalities have been preparing for heavy rain and coastal flooding since Tuesday.
The storm could bring with it high winds, heavy rain of 1-2 inches, flooding and dangerous rip currents.
Tens of thousands of people have already learned the Fourth of July fireworks show at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront has been rescheduled because of the storm. But what they may not know are the city’s preparations already underway to keep them safe.
“Today the crews are going to ditches clearing debris and blockages out so that water flow can stay maximized and keep flooding down in the city,” Phil Meekins with Virginia Beach Public Works told WAVY.com Wednesday.
Meekins said six Public Works crews have been fanned out across the city since Tuesday, clearing ditches.
In Norfolk, crews were clearing ditches in the Ballentine neighborhood Tuesday. The city posted pictures to its Facebook page that showed crews with a vactor truck, clearing storm drains at the corner of Princess Anne Road and Monticello Avenue.
The Virginia Department of Transportation said it also had crews out inspecting and cleaning storm water drain systems and testing the tide and hurricane gates.
The goal is to prevent as much flooding as possible for an area that floods quickly during heavy rains and high tides.
With the anticipation of flooding, Norfolk has offered the following places for residents to park: Bayview or Tarrallton Recreation Centers, Berkeley Multi-Service Center, Blair and Ghent Middle schools, Ingleside or Larchmont elementary schools, Maury High School.
The city of Portsmouth is letting residents park their vehicles in the upper floors of certain parking garages from 6 p.m. Thursday until 10 a.m. Saturday, at no charge. The following garages are included: Water St. Garage, Harbor Court Garage (6’ 2” clearance), Middle Street Garage, and County Street Garage (1st & 2nd floors only). Vehicles may not park in spaces marked “24 Hour Reserved.”
Officials are asking residents and guests to check emergency supplies and have a family emergency plan in place.