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The original item was published from 9/12/2018 3:23:55 PM to 9/12/2018 4:09:01 PM.

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* Hampton City News

Posted on: September 12, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Florence forecast to turn south, still expected to bring wind, rain, surge to Hampton


Sept. 12, 2018 - Hurricane Florence's path toward land has slowed and tracked slightly south, but it continues toward North and South Carolina with 125 mph sustained winds, with landfall forecast for Saturday morning. Prolonged rain is expected to pound Hampton roads through the weekend. The National Weather Service has issued a storm surge watch as far north as Southeast Virginia.

Florence has been downgraded to a still-powerful Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of 125 mph, just below Category 4, as of Wednesday afternoon. If Florence stalls after landfall, as predicted, Hampton Roads could be hit by significant rainfall of 4-8 inches. Based on the latest forecast, tropical storm force winds could hit Hampton by Thursday evening. Sustained winds of 25-30 mph and gusts of 45-50 mph are predicted in Hampton Roads by Friday

The storm surge is predicted to be 5-6 feet at Sewell's Point Friday into Saturday, which is below the levels of Hurricane Isabel in 2003 and Sandy in 2012. 

Residents who live in Zone A, the lowest-lying areas of Hampton, are being encouraged to leave as soon as possible, possibly staying with family or friends who live outside that zone.  Gov. Ralph Northam ordered the evacuation of Zone A on Monday. Residents who don't know the zone they live in can search their address at or call 311 (727-8311). There is also a static map at Zone A is blue on the map.

Hampton has opened a storm shelter at Phenix School, 1061 Big Bethel Road, for the general population and those with medical needs. Residents with pets can go to a second shelter at Bethel High School, 1067 Big Bethel Road. That  shelter has room for 150 animals, depending upon their size. Owners should bring crates, food and bedding for their pets. Residents do not register ahead of time; they sign in when they arrive.

Tuesday afternoon, President Trump declared an emergency for Virginia, ordering federal assistance to aid response efforts. He had already declared an emergency for North and South Carolina.

As Florence continues towards the East Coast, Langley Air Force Base has been closed and a number of upcoming events have been canceled. Schools and Fort Monroe are closed. Decisions for individual city facilities are posted at


Trash collection: Solid waste collection in Hampton has been suspended for Thursday and Friday. It is hazardous for crews to attempt to collect trash in high winds, and the trash can blow out of control during collection. Residents should not take their containers or bulk trash to the curb, where high winds would likely cause them to blow over. Any trash containers left at the curb should be removed.

Storm tracking: Watching the predicted path of the storm is critical. Florence is tracking farther south than originally predicted, but if it turns to the northern side of the "cone of error," Weather Service officials said Hampton Roads could see major tidal flooding and  tremendous rainfall. 

Landfall: Officials said Florence could stall after making landfall, increasing the likelihood of freshwater rainfall flooding in addition to tidal flooding.

Emergency declarations: Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency late Saturday, and City Manager Mary Bunting declared a local emergency Monday at 2 p.m. Those legal declarations allow the governments to mobilize extra resources and make emergency purchases.

The weather service, and Hampton's Office of Emergency Management, urges everyone to review their hurricane plans and to check their disaster supplies.  You can also find out whether you live in an evacuation zone by visiting  State and local emergency management officials urge residents to: 

  • Watch the city's social media accounts or sign up for news and emergency alerts at
  • Based on your location and community plans, make your own plans for evacuation or sheltering in place.
  • Gather needed supplies for at least three days. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets. 

You can go online to learn about creating a disaster supply kit and hurricane preparedness. City officials will continue monitoring the storm through the weekend and into next week.

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