Gloucester and Mathews counties are currently under a Tropical Storm Warning from the U.S. National Weather Service, Wakefield. The storm is anticipated to impact the area this afternoon into tonight, bringing locally heavy rainfall, and gusty winds, according to the NWS.
“Though Elsa is expected to mainly impact us with heavy rainfall beginning this afternoon into tonight, we remind residents that it is still a tropical system with the potential to spawn small tornadoes that can cause considerable damage,” said Brett Major, Gloucester’s Emergency Management Coordinator. “This happened in Gloucester last year near Rosewell when Tropical Storm Isais crossed the area.”
“Now is the time to be prepared,” Major added. “Make sure you have a battery-operated radio on hand in the case of a power outage so that you can still receive severe weather alerts. The Emergency Management Department remains in constant contact with our regional partners to stay abreast of the storm and we will share any pertinent information with our citizens through the County’s social media channels as it becomes available.”
If necessary, official county announcements will be posted on the county’s website (www.gloucesterva.info), the Gloucester County Virginia Facebook page, local media, and may also be distributed through CodeRed system notifications.
Residents are encouraged to continue to monitor all available sources for official advisories and instructions, as well as updates from Gloucester County.
In anticipation of the storm, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation closed a number of state parks on Thursday morning, including Machicomoco in Gloucester County. A decision to reopen the parks will be made on a case-by-case basis after damage assessments have been completed and only when it is safe to return to operational status, DCR announced.