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Oct. 5, 2016 – The National Weather Service gave Virginia a dramatically different – and better – outlook for the weekend based on changes in the past 24 hours.
Hurricane Matthew is now expected to take a “sharp right turn away from the East Coast” after coming close to or making landfall along the Florida coastline, said the weather service’s Bill Sammler.
Rainfall is more likely to be in the half-inch range, and there is less than a 20% chance of tropical storm force winds hitting Hampton Roads, he estimated. Coastal flooding is predicted, but should be minor.
Still, he warned, “This is the third or fourth gyration with Matthew this week. I would certainly keep an eye tuned to the future … As we saw yesterday, it certainly can change.”
City emergency management, police, fire, social services and other departments are planning to continue with preparations to open shelters if needed and increase staff if necessary. Public works staff continues to check stormwater ditches for any debris that might block or slow down water movement and prepare generators.
Hampton Emergency Management Coordinator Hui-Shan Walker said that the city is using Matthew as a chance to test and refine emergency plans. “We should prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”
Walker encouraged residents to make similar preparations at home. For storm-related suggestions and tips, go to: • Stay informed (http://www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia/stayinformed)• Create an emergency kit (http://www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia/getakit)• Decide now if you might need to evacuate (http://www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia/makeaplan/evacuate)• Preparedness Month information: http://www.vaemergency.gov/ReadyVirginia for more information on flooding, storm surges and information you can print out and save.• Get flooding and flood safety information at http://www.hampton.gov/1747/Flooding-Flood-Safety