Emergency Management officials warn Norfolk neighbors about flooding dangers

NORFOLK, Va. - Hurricane Florence is still hundreds of miles from Hampton Roads, but neighbors are already dealing with flooded roadways.

"This last week we had water in the street," explained Debbie Miller of Norfolk. "The bike path and New Hampshire Avenue flood terribly."

As a Norfolk homeowner for more than 30 years, Miller has experienced her share of hurricanes. She says one of the worst was Hurricane Hazel.

"Our car was completely underwater. The water was chest-high on my father and there were dead fish everywhere. It was horrible," Miller recalled.

Although Hurricane Florence's track has changed a bit from the original forecast, flooding is still likely for our area, which prompted this message from Emergency ZManagement officials: "Please don’t drive. Don’t drive and don’t play in the flood waters".

The message came from James Redick of Norfolk Emergency Management.

"The motto is normally, 'Turn around, don’t drown,'" he explained at a news conference held earlier this week. "You will certainly wreck your ride."

It's not just cars Redick warned neighbors about. He says people shouldn't be going into the flood waters, either.

"If you think about all the hazardous waste, all the dangerous stuff in the water - don’t let your children play in the water. It’s going to cause illness," Redick explained.

In addition to illness being picked up in the water, debris is often carried through flood waters, resulting in injury to anyone who steps foot into high water unprepared.

Officials suggest limiting your exposure to flood water by wearing long pants and shirts and wearing closed-toe shoes. It is also important to fully cover any open wounds.

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