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Oct. 4, 2016 – The likelihood of Hurricane Matthew causing moderate to significant impacts to Southeastern Virginia is growing, the National Weather Service said Tuesday.
Effects could be felt even if Matthew remains offshore, due to the storm’s size and intensity. Recent rains have left the ground saturated, which could exacerbate two hazards:• Trees will be more susceptible to being downed at winds as low as 40 mph; and• Flooding potential increases when the ground can’t absorb as much water.
Residents are urged to make hurricane preparations. Matthew’s track is still uncertain, but state officials are comparing the potential impact to Floyd, Irene and Isabel – storms that caused widespread damage.
The level of coastal flooding is highly dependent on the storm track and intensity, but minor tidal flooding could begin as early as Wednesday. Rainfall could begin late Friday, with up to 4-8 inches of rain falling through the weekend. Winds will begin to pick up Friday, becoming much more intense throughout Saturday.
Public parking for people whose streets may flood is available at the city parking garage on Settler’s Landing Road and on the third level of the parking garage at Peninsula Town Center. Also, Hampton residents are reminded that a new ordinance makes it illegal to drive on flooded residential streets in a way that pushes water into homes.
City emergency management, police, fire, social services and other departments are also making preparations to open shelters if needed and increase staff as necessary. Public works staff continues to check stormwater ditches for any debris that might block or slow down water movement and prepare generators.