VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – As Hampton Roads awaits the arrival of Hurricane Hermine, crews across the area were busy getting ready Thursday.
“Really a lot of our focus right now is just going to be on what happens with the weather,” said Drew Lankford with Virginia Beach Public Works.
WAVY meteorologists estimated three to seven inches of rain could fall by Sunday. Off Shore Drive, crews worked to clear an outfall pipe clogged with sand.
“What happens is the water goes back through the system and the storm waters back up and you have a lot more flooding on the streets and neighborhoods, particularly here in the Shore Drive area, which is one of our areas that’s always prone,” Lankford said.
Off Battlefield Boulevard in Chesapeake, crews were clearing ditches and running water through pipes.
“We’re keeping a close eye on the storm as it comes up the coast, and in anticipation of some heavy rains, some potential tidal flooding…We’ve sent our crews out to locations all throughout the city. They’re checking on the storm water system. We want to make sure that it is working at its peak efficiency,” said Elizabeth Vaughn with Chesapeake Public Works.
Norfolk city spokesperson Lori Crouch said crews were checking on hot spots and doing prep work on drains and pump stations. Household Hazardous Waste drop off service on Pine Ridge Road was canceled for Saturday, Crouch said.
In Dare County, County Manager Bobby Outten said officials had moved equipment into place and checked on generators. Portsmouth and Newport News officials said public works departments were checking on drains and outfalls ahead of the hurricane.
Public works crews in Suffolk are conducting preventative roadway, ditch and culvert maintenance ahead of the storm. Officials say areas known to have problems with tidal flooding because of heavy rainfall are getting special attention.