Amid changing forecast, Virginia Beach leaders change plan for Hurricane Florence

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.  - With Hurricane Florence now predicted to take a more southern route, the city is updating its plan for the storm.

On Tuesday, city leaders were preparing for the worst.

The city will now only be opening one shelter at Kellam High School on Wednesday evening, instead of multiple. In addition, a pet shelter will open on Thursday morning at Landstown Elementary School.

"The data tells me the conditions are not going to be as extreme as we thought they were going to be," City Manager Dave Hansen said on Wednesday.

The city is expecting three to five inches of rain, a storm surge of less than three feet and wind speeds on the low side of tropical storm speeds, Hansen said.

"We are breathing a sigh of relief," Hansen said. "Our prayers go to Wilmington and Myrtle Beach because those are resort cities just like we are."

On Monday, Hansen called for people living in Back Bay and Sandbridge to evacuate, but now says people can decide for themselves given the updated forecast.

Despite the change, Hansen says the storm remains unpredictable and the city could once again add resources if another change in the forecast happens. "Our citizens need to remain informed," he said. "There could be another track change."

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