NORFOLK, Va. - Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Alexander declared a local state of emergency Tuesday ahead of Hurricane Florence hitting the East Coast.
The declaration allows the City to ask for state and federal resources and seek state and federal reimbursement if the cost of the storm reaches a certain threshold, city officials said.
City crews have been preparing for the storm and have been cleaning storm drains and ditches to ease potential flooding. In addition, extra crews are on standby throughout the weekend to respond to downed trees due to the wind and saturated ground.
The city said for residents to ensure curbs, gutters and ditches on your property and on your street are clear of debris, to check on your neighbor and to be sure to secure any loose items in your yard and on your street to prevent damage during the storm.
Residents could potentially need to be ready to be self-sufficient for 72 hours after the storm in case Norfolk experiences power and utility loss.
Hampton Roads Transit will provide free bus service to Norfolk residents beginning Wednesday, the city said.
The City will open shelters for those residents who need a safe place to ride out the storm. Food and security are provided. Residents must bring personal items, medications, bedding, blankets and other comforts of home. Residents who need transportation to the shelter should call the Norfolk Cares Center at (757) 664-6510. Residents who bring pets to the pet-friendly shelters must bring food and water and are responsible for pet care while at the shelter with their animal.
The following shelters will open at 1 p.m. Wednesday:
- Berkley Community Center (pet-friendly) - 8613 Willow Terrace
- Berkley Community Center (pet friendly) – 121 Liberty Street
- Crossroads Elementary School – 8021 Old Ocean View Road
- Norview High School – 6501 Chesapeake Boulevard
- Southside STEM Academy – 1106 Campostella Road
The City and Old Dominion University will open garages so that residents can move their vehicles to higher ground. The following City garages will open at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Here's which city garages will be open:
- York Street (215 W. York Street)
- Bank Street (441 Bank Street)
- Town Point (110 W Main Street)
- Main Street (230 E Main Street)
- Waterside (50 Martins Lane)
- West Plume (135 W Plume Street)
- City Hall South (999 E Main Street)
- Fountain Park (130 Bank Street)
- Charlotte Street (440 Monticello Avenue)
The following Old Dominion Parking garages are open now and available for use:
- ODU Garage A – 4310 Elkhorn Avenue
- ODU Garage B – 1330 W 43rd Street
- ODU Garage C – 1067 W 43rd Street (beside Ted)
- ODU Garage D – 1060 W 45th Street (beside Ted)
- ODU Garage E – 5000 Bluestone Avenue (beside football stadium)
Pace bikes will be temporarily out of service and removed from bike racks by noon Wednesday.
For storm-related inquiries or to report downed trees or other storm-related damage, including downed power lines or flooded and impassable streets, call the Norfolk Cares Center at (757) 664-6510.
Report power outages to Dominion Virginia Power at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357).
For life-threatening emergencies, call 9-1-1.