Gov. Northam declares state of emergency in response to Hurricane Isaias

Virginia News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Gov. Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency in response to Hurricane Isaias.

The hurricane may impact parts of coastal Virginia beginning Monday, Aug. 3. Flooding, high winds, and storms are likely.

Hurricane Isaias heads toward the East Coast; Hurricane warnings in the Bahamas, parts of Florida’s coastline

“Hurricane Isaias is a serious storm, and current predictions indicate that it may impact parts of Virginia as early as this weekend,” Northam said. “This state of emergency will ensure localities and communities have the assistance they need to protect the safety of Virginians, particularly as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. I encourage Virginians to take all necessary precautions, monitor local weather forecasts, and stay alert.”

8News caught up with Virginia resident Jason Dobson who says living in the state for years has prepared him for hurricane preparation.

“Stock up on stuff in case you lose power so, therefore, you can be prepared and clear everything that’s loose in your yard so you don’t have debris or projectiles flying around in case of high winds,” Dobson said.

Dobson said the aftermath of downed trees should also be a concern for residents.

“Usually with the outer band of the storm when it comes to the state, it spins tornadoes every where like that one that ripped the roof that home on Hull Street and cars flipped over, you got people filming that too,” Dobson said.

Van Stehly, however, sees things a bit differently. He’s prepared to spend some time with friends outdoors with Isaias lingering.

“If it gets worse, I would worry about it, but as of right now, I’m not really too nervous about it,” Stehly said.  

Declaring a state of emergency also allows the Commonwealth to free up and prepare resources that could be deployed to other states impacted by Isaias.

VDEM prepares for Hurricane Isaias’ potential impact on Virginia

COVID-19 is impacting safety measures and evacuation plans as well. At this time, the state is working on emergency sheltering options. Jason Elmore with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management says as of right now, no shelters have been activated.

“We’re going to have to maintain social distancing in these shelters which is going to lower the total number of people that can be in a shelter,” Elmore added.

According to Elmore, now is the time to pack an emergency kit which includes at least a 3-day supply of water and non-perishable food.

“Whether you’re adding your face coverings, your hand sanitizer, your disinfectant wipes,” he said.

Click here and here for more information about how locals can prepare businesses, families and property against hurricane threats.

Click here for additional information about preparing for hurricanes during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Click here to read the Governor’s full Executive Order.

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