We don’t need to tell you that there are some powerful storm systems moving their way into Hampton Roads over the next several days. It seems like a million years since we had a clear, fall day and all that rain is set to continue through early next week. If Hurricane Joaquin decides to make landfall in northeast North Carolina, Hampton Roads will be set up to receive the strongest winds, highest storm surges and biggest rainfall totals from this predicted Category 2 storm. That’s stronger than the legendary Hurricane Isabel! Your city or county Stormwater Management teams are already hard at work clearing ditches and storm drains in an effort to reduce flooding. Please do your part and take action now to secure your home and help prevent street flooding in your neighborhood. Flood waters and storm damage know no property lines – help your neighbors prepare as well.
- Clear Gutters and Ditches – Clear away vegetation, litter, tree branches and yard debris from any ditch, channel, storm drain, etc. on your property. This will help the flood waters flow freely into the stormwater system.
- Secure Loose Items – Look around your yard for any item that may fly or float away and move it to a secure location. Loose items that float off into flood waters will worsen flooding by clogging drainage systems and flooding your street or yard. In the event that we receive high winds from Joaquin, loose items also pose a risk as dangerous projectiles that can endanger people and property.
- Shelter Your Waste/Recycling Containers – Secure your trash/recycling containers indoors (i.e. garage, shed, etc.) to prevent trash from entering the stormwater system. If you are unable to secure the containers inside, attempt to weight the bottom of the receptacle and secure the top with a bungee or duct tape.
- Prepare for Rising Flood Waters – If you live in a low-lying area, it’s not too early to think about moving important belongings off the ground in flood prone areas of your home or garage. In addition to your personal belongs, move hazardous household chemicals off the ground to prevent them from spilling into flood waters. Examples include motor oil, gasoline and lawn chemicals typically stored in your garage or shed.
- Tune Into Local Emergency Communications – Your city or county will be providing a lot of information regarding city services during the storm. For important updates and news regarding closures, suspension of municipal services, shelter locations or evacuation requirements, please check in with your locality often. To find emergency information where you live, visit Ready Hampton Roads.
- Check Your Emergency Supplies – Make sure you have the following items on hand in the event of prolonged outages of utility services: batteries, bottled water, flashlights/lanterns, easy to prepare meals, ice, activities for the kids, food for the “furry” kids and any medical care items you or your family may require. A battery operated radio is also essential for latest emergency information and updates during the storm.
You may also consider mentioning these tasks to your neighbors or better yet offer to help them prepare their homes and yards. Debris knows no property lines. Stay safe Hampton Roads!