RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency Tuesday evening in advance of Hurricane Dorian’s effects on southeastern Virginia.
“Hurricane Dorian is a serious storm, and current predictions indicate that it may affect parts of Virginia. I am declaring a state of emergency to ensure that localities and communities have the appropriate level of assistance, and to coordinate the Commonwealth’s response to any potential impacts from Hurricane Dorian.Virignia Gov. Ralph Northam,
Governor Northam, D-Virginia, adds that the impacts from Hurricane Dorian include coastal and inland flooding, storm surge, damaging winds, and prolonged power outages.
A state of emergency allows Virginia to mobilize resources and to deploy people and equipment to assist in response and recovery efforts.
However at Congressman Bobby Scott’s annual Labor Day cookout, Northam wanted to make clear that his action does not launch an evacuation.
Last September, many were critical of the decision to evacuate 245,000 people living in flood-prone areas of Virginia four days before the then category 4 Hurricane Florence was estimated to make landfall between South Carolina and Virginia.
“This is not an evacuation,” Northam said. “So there is a big difference between state of emergency. This just gets us prepared for what may happen, but this is not an evacuation. No order has been given to do that and I wouldn’t do that for another day or so, so we are going to watch things closely.”
The declaration also allows officials from Virginia to coordinate planning and evacuation resources with the state of North Carolina.
Northam does urge everyone to know their evacuation zones just in case things progress.
“Looks hopefully like it is going to turn out to sea but it’s hard to tell, like I said if it took a turn to the west, we’d be right in target for it,” Northam said.
Stay with WAVY.com for the latest updates on Hurricane Dorian.