RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The remnants of Ida which arrived in Louisiana as a category 4 hurricane earlier this week are expected to impact Virginia. The Commonwealth, especially the southwestern region, has already experienced severe weather damage this week. In preparation for further damage from the now tropical depression, Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency on Tuesday.
According to Northam’s release, the storm is expected to cause heavy flooding along the Interstate 81 and Interstate 66 corridors. Buchanan County and other parts of southwestern Virginia have been experiencing heavy rainfall making it difficult to prepare for the approaching tropical weather.
The Monday storm that hit Buchanan County caused flash flooding. Ida could potentially caused more flooding, downed trees, electrical outages and impacts on travel.
There is also a risk for tornados starting late Tuesday night and lasting through Wednesday.
8News meteorologists are predicting Central Virginia will see severe weather on Wednesday. The threat for severe weather will last from 2 p.m. to midnight.
With a state of emergency in place, the state can station workers and equipment to respond to disaster. It also allows Virginia officials at the state and local level to coordinate preparations and evacuations.
The Virginia National Guard sent soldiers to Buchanan County on Tuesday to assist with flood response. Additional soldiers will be staged in Fredericksburg and Winchester to deploy to any other flooded areas if needed.
“Virginia National Guard Soldiers quickly responded to the call of duty and were ready to assist in Buchanan County on very short notice, and we are staging personnel in Fredericksburg and Winchester as well,” said Brig. Gen. James W. Ring, Virginia National Guard Director of the Joint Staff.
As of Tuesday, 10 soldiers were sent to Hurley in Buchanan County to help with emergency response. The soldiers brought four light/medium tactical trucks. They are helping other local and state agencies provide high water transportation.
According to the Virginia National Guard, so far soldiers have evacuated 12 adults and two children from the area and helped food and water.