Virginia Beach, Va. (WAVY) – City officials say they are doing everything they can to prepare in case Hurricane Joaquin makes landfall in Virginia.
After a morning briefing on the storm’s projected path, Virginia Beach Fire Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator, Steven Cover told 10 On Your Side, “We realize that this is going to be mostly a rain event. We’re not as concerned about the wind, there’s going to be some wind, but mostly its going to be a rain event so we’re worried about coastal and river flooding.”
By Thursday morning, public works crews with the help of some inmates had filled 500 sandbags. They have another 2,000 on standby.
The sandbags will be placed at designated public buildings to block doorway entrances from high water. They will be used to hold down barricades and high water signs in case of wind.
Crews spent the day checking ditches, tying down signs, and removing more than 1,400 trash cans from the oceanfront.
The city has stop signs on standby in case of a power outage at intersections — 54 cameras inside the city traffic management center help monitor the roads.
“A lot of what we’re going to do is going to be a reaction based on the storm track and what we need to do as a result of that track,” Chief Cover said.
While the city gets ready, officials want citizens to also be prepared.
“They need to make sure their preparations are done now. The earlier the better,” Chief Cover said. “If they need to get out of the area, if their home is prone to flooding now is the time to recognize that and move if they need to move. If they’re dependent on electricity or need special medications of that sort, we want them to think about that early on and get that taken care of as well.”
Virginia Beach resident Bob Jones filled his car up with gas Thursday, hoping the rain doesn’t stop him from traveling to North Carolina on Friday. However if it does, “I cranked my generator up, made sure it’s working put all my trash barrels and stuff inside. [I’m] doing as much as I can to get ready,” Jones said.
Thomas Cribb and his family are preparing now as well. “We’re just getting canned goods and making sure our batteries are straight. Making sure everything is good because we don’t want to be stuck in the house and the lights go out and we’re just out here stuck,” Cribb said.
Officials will continue to monitor conditions over the next few hours. They’re expected to have another briefing Friday morning.