HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — City officials throughout Hampton Roads are preparing for the threat of Hurricane Matthew days before impact.
10 On Your Side spoke with officials in all seven cities about the preparations. Every city has started clearing out storm drains, inspecting generators and pump stations and fueling up storm equipment ahead of the threat.
Virginia Beach crews spent the day Tuesday out at Croatan Beach where contractors are moving sand to support the dune system in weak areas. Sandfiddler Road in Sandbridge is getting inspected and crews are clearing sand there on Wednesday. Crews were also out pulling sand from the seawall in the 50’s block Tuesday, and they are doing the same in the 20’s and 30’s blocks as the week continues. According to Virginia Beach officials, every last storm drain needs to be cleaned; if not, neighborhoods along the shoreline could be completely flooded.
Virginia Public Works Director Phil Davenport says they are preparing for the worst, “Residents of Virginia Beach are used to dealing with storms, but one thing we would say is we do think there are going to be streets that flood. We don’t want people driving out and we don’t want people driving through high water,” said Davenport. “In addition to work here at Croatan, we are pumping down some of our lakes for when the rains do come, checking pumps and working to make sure all generators are topped off.”
Additionally, crews in all seven cities are filling sandbags. Norfolk, Portsmouth, Hampton, Newport News, Virginia Beach, Suffolk and Chesapeake have crews out checking all pump stations, filling sandbags and inspecting traffic lights and arranging for back-up power at major intersections.
According to the Virginia Beach Public Works Department, contractors are also being called – so they can secure job sites.