In the wake of Gov. Bob McDonnell’s declaration of a state of emergency for Virginia, Hampton City Manager Mary Bunting has declared a state of emergency for the City of Hampton as of 12 noon Saturday, October 27th.
The National Weather Service is predicting damaging winds and flooding in low-lying areas. Sustained tropical storm force winds are forecast beginning early Sunday morning and could last for more than 24 hours. Heavy rains will hit Saturday evening, with rainfall totals between 6-7 inches before it tapers off Monday afternoon. Sustained winds of 40-45 mph are possible, with wind gusts up to 60 mph. While the sustained winds will start early Sunday, gusts could be seen much sooner.
Moderate flooding is expected from a storm surge of 2-4 feet, with high tides reaching 5-7 feet above the mean low water level Sunday and Monday.
The storm surge is still projected to be less than more recent events such as Irene, Isabel or the November Nor’easters.
However, those events were only one high tide cycle events. This storm will be spread over at least three high tide cycles – so while the water will be lower, it will be with us longer.
Areas that are prone to flooding include but are not limited to: Grandview/Beach Road, Harris Creek, Buckroe Beach, Southwest Branch of the Back River, Hampton River, Tidemill Creek, Indian Creek, and Newmarket Creek. Residents in low-lying areas should be preparing to evacuate to hotels or to friends and family inland.
Weather forecasters stress that this storm is part hurricane and part Nor’easter. Sandy has less of a tight eye, or center, but the wind effects of the storm is much broader. That means Hampton will begin feeling the storm sooner, and over a much longer period of time.
The city will open a shelter at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, October 27, at Phenix School (1061 Big Bethel Road) for the general population and Bethel High School as a pet friendly and overflow shelter (1067 Big Bethel Road).
Residents should bring any medications or special needs equipment; air mattresses, blankets and pillows; diapers, toys, games and books for children; food; and water (recommended 1 gallon per person per day). Pets at Bethel High School will be accepted; owners should bring a cage or crate, food and water, shot records and medications.
Residents can get Hampton-specific information by:
visiting hampton.gov frequently for updates
calling 311 (727-8311 from outside Hampton or from a cell phone)
signing up for free email updates at hampton.gov/enews
visiting facebook.com/HamptonVA or twitter.com/cityofhampton