Jan. 3, 2018 - Most city offices and services will be closed Thursday for all but emergency personnel because of the winter storm, said City Manager Mary Bunting. Trash collection for Thursday has been canceled.
In the face of a major storm and blizzard warning poised to dump up to a foot of snow on Hampton, Bunting declared a local state of emergency as of 6 p.m. Wednesday. The declaration is a legal order that gives the city some special authority and is also a notice to residents to take the storm seriously. The city opened its Emergency Operations Center at the same time, and top officials are coordinating on storm response.
The Public Works Department, which began treating city roads with brine Tuesday morning, will begin plowing main roads after the snowfall begins. You can go online to see a map of the main roads that will be plowed ( http://hampton.gov/documentcenter/view/4051).
Extreme cold is expected to hamper road-clearing operations. The National Weather Service said temperatures will be at or below freezing for several days. Thursday is expected to bring even colder temperatures and winds gusting to 30 mph. Overnight temperatures are expected to be in the teens, with wind chills that would make it feel like below-zero weather possible.
Bunting said the decision on opening or closing Friday will be made late Thursday afternoon or early Thursday evening, after public safety and Public Works teams have assessed road conditions. New trash collection schedules will be announced once workers know when they can resume operations.
Hampton Roads Transit announced that all services will be suspended at 10 p.m. Wednesday because of the weather. HRT will evaluate road conditions Thursday afternoon to consider service for Friday. Hampton's Circuit Court and General District Court are also closed.
The latest forecast from the National Weather Service calls for rain or snow to begin after 6 p.m Wednesday, turning into a heavy, wet snow by 8 p.m. that will continue for 12-18 hours. Wind gusts of 40-45 mph are projected in our area, followed by an additional push of cold air.
Residents are encouraged to stay safe and stay off the road during the snowstorm, when blackout conditions are possible, and to stay tuned to local news and hampton.gov for more information. You can also go online to learn more about winter weather safety.
"Please keep our emergency essential personnel in your thoughts as they take care of our community in difficult circumstances," Bunting said.
Any decision about closing will be announced by email, by calling the 3-1-1 Citizen Contact Center, by following Hampton's social media pages, and through news alerts on the city's website, hampton.gov. City employees are encouraged to consult their supervisor or department head to determine whether they are considered emergency personnel.