GLOUCESTER, Va. (WAVY) - Gloucester County Emergency Management Coordinator Emily Ashley reported that a state and local Declaration of Emergency is in effect and gave the following update.
• Dr. Kiser, Gloucester County School Superinentent has announced that ALL Gloucester County Public Schools will be closed on Monday, April 18, 2011. School officials are assessing the damages to Page Middle School and ironing out details to implement a plan for action. Kiser, his staff and the Gloucster School Board assure the public that educational services between now and the end of the school year will be maintained for all students. The AlertNow automated calling system will be used, along with other means, to communicate information to students, staff and families. An assessment has been conducted of the other 8 schools and are all operational and safe.
• Sheriff Gentry advises that 100 homes have been damaged in the area of Coke. Several homes have been totally destroyed and many have severe damage. Trees and power lines are down causing electrical outages. Residents are asked to contact Donimion Virginia Power at 1-866-DOMHELP (366-4357) for information regarding the length of time power will be out.
• Sheriff Gentry implores the public to please REFRAIN from coming to the areas most impacted by this storm. Search and rescue is paramount and non-residents to the area curtails resuce and assessment efforts. The a rea will continue to be restricted for at least the next 24 hours and a curfew may be imposed.
• Gloucester County is providing water buffalos trucks with potable water set up along Rt. 17 at WaWa at White Marsh and at Wellford/Talliforo Wayside at the entrance to Ware Neck.
• The Red Cross, Salvation Army and Community Emergency and Respsone Team personnel are ready to assist people in need with food, water and shelter vouchers. The contact information for American Red Cross is 804-832-2711. Those impacted are asked to go to Bellamy United Methodist Church, located at 4870 Chestnut Fork Road, tonight and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m..
• Providence Baptist Church will be serving dinner from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m tonight for anyone directly impacted by the tornado.Gloucester Moose Lodge continues to serve food at their facility located on Rt. 17 near Chesapeak Bank.
• Confirmed deaths remain at 3. The release of names will be withheld until notification of next of kin.
• Residents are advised to contact their local gas or propane distributor for issues or concerns with their gas or propane tanks if there is damage from the tornado.
• Gloucester Convenience Centers are closed today, but the landfill at Saluda Owl trap is open from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Regular hours at all convenience center sites will resume on Monday. Pick-up loads of debris will be accepted , but larger loads must be transported to the Middle Peninsula Landfill and Recycling Center located at Owl Trap/Saluda...
• Sherwood Bowditch, President of the Boys and Girls Club advised that as long as the schools are closed, children ages 6-18 are welcome to attend the Boys and Girls Club. During this time, there is no charge for unregistered children. Parents will need to come in and complete simple paperwork. The hours of operation will be 6:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. as as long as schools are closed. Once schools return to a regular scheduled the operationing rules apply.
• An emergency helpline will remain activated until 9 p.m. tonight. It will reopen at 5 a.m. on Monday, April 18. Please do not call 911 for tornado damage information as these lines are needed for actual emergencies. Residents are asked to call 693-3000 for non-life threatening issues.
HazMat crews have identified the material on a derailed train in Norfolk as cement. East Princess Anne and Ingleside roads have reopened to traffic.
A portion of Dominion Boulevard in Chesapeake is shut down as part of an emergency closure.
A horse that was reported missing in Elizabeth City has been found dead.