Va. officials working to support local cities impacted by Matthew

The Virginia Emergency Support Team and local emergency managers gather at a meeting to discuss Hurricane Matthew on Oct. 7, 2016. (Photo: @SternJD/Twitter)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — State officials are responding to major flooding caused by heavy rains and winds from Hurricane Matthew.

The Commonwealth launched an emergency operations center, which remains staffed, as state, federal and local agencies work to support local government needs.

“As anticipated, we have had some impacts from the storm and I have directed our state agencies to make every resource available to local authorities as they respond to floods and power outages, particularly in the Hampton Roads area,” Governor McAuliffe said Sunday. “As our response continues, I urge Virginians in affected areas to monitor local reports and limit unnecessary travel so responders can do their jobs quickly.”

Hampton, Norfolk, Newport News, Virginia Beach, Middlesex County, and Portsmouth have all declared emergencies. Shelters are currently open in Portsmouth, Norfolk and Hampton.

Local cities declare states of emergency amid flooding

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Virginia National Guard, Department of Fire Programs, Virginia Department of Social Services, Virginia Department of Health, Virginia Department of Transportation and Virginia State Police are providing assistance.

The Virginia National Guard said early Sunday it would be staging 160 soldiers throughout Hampton Roads in order to be ready with flooding relief assistance if they are needed.

“Multiple localities in the Hampton Roads area are requesting high mobility transport and debris reduction capabilities, and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management requested that we stage personnel with vehicles and chainsaws in order to rapidly respond if needed,” said Brig. Gen. Paul F. Griffin, director of the joint staff for the Virginia National Guard.

Governor McAuliffe declared a state of emergency on Friday to provide assistance to areas impacted by the hurricane. Visit for more information about the impact and response efforts in your area.

Residents are asked to list to local officials and follow instructions they provide. It is imperative to stay out of the way and allow local work crews and power companies to do their work.

If you come across a downed power line, stay away from it and notify the power company. Do not drive through standing water. It is never safe to drive or walk into flood waters.

Reasons why you shouldn’t play in flood waters

Report hazards to 911. Check here for a full up-to-date list of Dominion power outages in the area.

Stay informed:

Other resources:

  • If you need help, information or resources during or after the storm, call 211. Those with hearing impairments can call 711 to connect to the Virginia Relay Center for assistance with the call. Videophone users may dial 1-800-230-6977.
  • – Go online or on your smart phone for statewide storm updates.
  • @vdem – Twitter feed for storm updates from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
  • – Facebook page for VDEM.