Sept. 4, 2019 – Hampton could begin to feel the effects from Hurricane Dorian as soon as Thursday afternoon, with more serious impact overnight and through Friday. National Weather Service forecasters urge people not to focus on the track of the storm; Dorian is large, and its impacts will be felt across a wide area. The National Hurricane Center expects the storm’s path to continue northeast on Thursday; however, any change could shift the path closer to Hampton Roads, increasing the potential for damage. Gov. Ralph Northam and City Manager Mary Bunting have declared states of emergency, which makes it easier to access funding.
Currently, Hampton and the surrounding area are under both a tropical storm watch and a storm surge watch. Hampton could experience major flooding around Friday’s high tide of 4 p.m. Predictions are for a level of 7 feet, which is about the level of flooding during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. High tides before and after Thursday afternoon are expected to be elevated as well: Friday at 3:24 a.m. Saturday at 4:27 a.m. and even Saturday at 5 p.m.
In addition to tides, there are other factors that affect flooding, especially the amount of rainfall and the timing. Current rainfall projections for Hampton are in the 3- to 6-inch range. Winds are expected to be strongest during the day on Friday, potentially sustained around 35 mph with gusts to 50 mph.
Hampton will suspend trash collection on Friday. Residents should not put their cans, bulk trash or yard debris at the curb. In heavy wind and rain, trash cans can blow open or over, spilling contents, and bulk waste can block storm drains, making any flooding worse. Trash collection for Friday’s routes will begin at 7 a.m. on Saturday, assuming conditions allow.
The temporary traffic cones and signs on Settlers Landing bridge marking the Interstate 64 and Hampton University traffic lane will be removed for safety reasons Wednesday evening before the high winds. Drivers should still obey the new traffic pattern.
Hampton’s stormwater crews are working around-the-clock to clear ditches and storm drains. Public Works is also testing and getting generators ready. Human Services is putting together plans for shelters in case they are needed.
We recommend that residents make similar preparations — check emergency supplies, have copies of important documents, refill prescription medication as necessary, etc. Residents of low-lying areas, particularly those in Zone A, should have a plan for what they will do if conditions warrant an evacuation. To check your zone, go to http://knowyourzoneva.org.
The City of Hampton always makes contingency plans for the most severe weather; of course, we hope those won’t be needed. City officials are closely monitoring weather conditions and forecasts and will announce any changes in service or shelters if conditions warrant.
There are several ways Hampton residents can keep up with storm news and city announcements:
- Visit hampton.gov
- Sign up at hampton.gov/notifyme to get news and or emergency alerts via text or email
- Sign up for the less-frequent e-newsletter at hampton.gov/enews
- Follow Hampton, VA - Gov on Facebook or @cityofhampton on Twitter
- Watch for posts on NextDoor
- Call 311 (727-8311 from a cell phone)