RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney announced at a press conference today that emergency precautions have been put in effect in anticipation of Tropical Storm Isaias.
“We love peaceful visitors to our city, but my hope is that Tropical Storm Isaias doesn’t linger and keeps on going,” said Stoney.
Stoney and other city officials outlined steps residents can take to protect themselves from the storm.
During the conference they asked for residents and visitors to avoid flood prone areas, stay inside and seek more stable shelter or higher ground if necessary.
In flooding hot spots, the city cleaned and preformed maintenance on storm drains to prepare for the storm. Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom and Southside were noted as two areas that flood on a regular basis.
“We are ready to activate the floodwall if needed,” said Director of Public Utilities and Richmond Gas Works, Calvin Farr. “The challenge on the Southside of Richmond is there’s very little drainage storm system so it’s going to flood most likely.”
Farr says the Department of Public Utilities is fully ready to continue providing 24/7 utility services, especially water supply during the storm.
The city is keeping a close eye on river levels. We could see dangerous conditions on the James River later this week.
“We’re ready to activate the flood wall, if needed,” said Farr.
The Department of Public Works set out empty bags for residents to fill with sand at 212 N. 18th Street and 3512 Hopkins Road. This is an effective way to prevent or reduce flood water damage.
Richmond’s Deputy Chief Administrative Officer of Human Services, Reginald Gordon said the community is working to get people with unstable housing situations somewhere safe during the storm. They will be working to place vulnerable residents in shelters or hotel rooms. To help the city locate people in need of emergency housing, call the Homeless Crisis Line at (804) 972-0813.
Melvin Carter with the Richmond Department of Fire and Emergency Services recommends having an emergency kit with water, phone numbers, medications and a flashlight ready.
The City of Richmond is now under three separate states of emergency with Tropical Storm Isaias adding to the previous situations concerning the ongoing civil unrest and COVID-19 pandemic. The city’s government offices will be closed Tuesday due to the expected impact of the storm.
“My hope is that the hardest thing about Tropical Storm Isaias is, well, pronouncing the name,” Stoney said.
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