Gloucester County Emergency Management officials declared a local emergency at noon on Monday and continue to closely monitor Tropical Storm Isaias, according to a release.
The storm is currently forecast to bring substantial rainfall, possible tropical storm-forced winds and the potential for moderate coastal flooding beginning Monday night and into the day on Tuesday. Tropical Storm Isaias is currently forecast to make landfall tonight as a hurricane on the Carolina coast before weakening once again to a tropical storm.
Current rainfall forecasts are predicting rainfall to enter the Middle Peninsula area Monday evening with the potential of 3 to 6 inches of rain through Tuesday. Moderate coastal flooding is forecasted during high tide cycles Tuesday and Tuesday night, with water levels expected to be approximately 1 to 2 feet higher than normal.
Excessive heavy rainfall will cause the potential for road flooding. Drivers are advised to not drive through standing water—turn around and go another way. Wind gusts along the coasts, along with the saturated ground due to heavy rains, could raise the probability of falling limbs and downed power lines. Power outages are to be expected, and Dominion Energy crews are on standby.
Residents in areas prone to flooding during tropical storm and hurricane-related events, those residing in mobile or manufactured homes and those currently in recreational campgrounds, should take all precautions to secure their properties and have a plan for evacuation, if needed, to friends, family or other accommodation outside the impacted area.
While county and state shelters are not planning to open at this time, in the event they do, those who need to use them are reminded that with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing requirements, shelters will reach capacity at a much faster rate than typical, and residents are encouraged to make plans to shelter with friends or relatives on higher ground in lieu of public congregate sheltering.
Residents should check and stock emergency supplies to include water and non-perishable foods for at least 3-5 days; specialty items for children, the elderly, those with functional needs and pets; a first-aid kit with essential medications; a battery-powered radio and flashlights, and extra batteries; a full tank of gas and extra cash. Those who are electric-dependent for health-related reasons should plan accordingly and can contact 804-693-3000 for assistance during the storm. Also, businesses that may have resources to offer that might help benefit those in need in the community during this storm are also encouraged to call 804-693-3000.
Gloucester County residents and businesses are encouraged to become familiar with their evacuation zone by going here: www.vaemergency.gov/hurricane-evacuation-zone-lookup. Also, residents may go to the county Emergency Management website and sign up for Code Red at: https://va-gloucestercounty.civicplus.com/409/CodeRed.
Ways to stay informed
Local emergency services officials will continue to monitor the progress of the storm and potential impacts to our area and will provide storm updates and additional emergency announcements as 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.
Citizens are encouraged to continue to monitor all available sources for official advisories and instructions, as well as updates from Gloucester County.
While there is no mandatory evacuation order in place, residents should keep in mind that bridges, such as the Coleman and West Point bridges will close if sustained winds reach 40-45 mph. Rescue vehicles will be unable to drive through flooded roadways when water reaches three feet or higher or when winds reach 50 mph sustained. Residents who may be affected by the storm should begin making evacuation and relocation decisions immediately to stay with relatives, friends, or in a hotel/motel outside of the hurricane threat area. Those evacuating should cut off the main electrical breaker and gas to their homes before leaving. Pets should not be chained of left outside in pens. Many hotels in the Richmond and Fredericksburg areas will accommodate pets and their owners.
Residents are asked to NOT call 911 or the sheriff’s office unless it is an emergency. The Hurricane Information Helpline will be available for residents beginning today by calling 804-693-3000. Businesses, community members and agricultural representatives are encouraged to call this number to report any damages that the storm may cause.
The Gloucester Point Fishing Pier will close at 9 p.m. Monday as park officials prepare for the arrival of Isaias. Once the storm has passed, park staff will assess any damage and determine when the pier, beach and other parks and facilities are able to open.
The Gloucester Library, located at 6920 Main Street will serve as a cooling station for those in need on Wednesday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. as well as Thursday and Friday from 1-5 p.m. as long as power is available to the building. Those wishing to take advantage of the cooling station are encouraged to wear masks and practice social distancing.