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Sept. 6, 2017 - The National Hurricane Center forecasts for Irma shifted the possible track eastward today, potentially threatening the East Coast.
Although many models still show the giant Category 5 storm moving through Florida, changing weather patterns have caused some models to predict that Irma could move to the north sooner, skirting the coast of Florida and making landfall farther north.
The hurricane center warned that predictions more than a few days out are subject to changes as weather patterns change. Residents are advised to watch news forecasts and stay tuned for updates to www.hampton.gov. Residents can also sign up for emergency notifications at www.hampton.gov/notifyme.
Hampton officials have been meeting since the weekend to make plans for a potential hurricane and its aftermath. Public Works crews are doing extra work this week to clear ditches, emergency managers are preparing for shelters if necessary, and arrangements are being made for emergency transportation or evacuation, should that be needed.
Residents are urged to make similar preparations for their families and property: have food, water and medications on hand, whether they stay or leave; check medications; make arrangements for pets; and prepare for the potential of being without electricity. Go to www.hampton.gov/hurricane for tips on preparing for a storm and storm recovery.
Hampton's previous evacuation maps were based on potential surge zones tied to hurricane intensity (Category 1-5). The new zone maps were drawn with updated flooding data and may include additional areas. They are labeled A-D. "A" is the lowest-lying area. Hampton has evacuated the area most at risk of flooding in previous storms.
If an evacuation is ordered for your zone, you may not have to go far. Look at the map and find friends or family who live on higher ground. If evacuations are ordered, the city will open shelters, but they are not luxurious accommodations and are designed for those who do not have other options or who have special needs.