PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Gov. Ralph Northam has ordered a mandatory evacuation for Zone A — the most flood-prone areas of the Tidewater region.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s website was experiencing issues following Northam’s announcement, but this link will be able to show you your zone. Users can zoom in to see their zone or click on the blue icon at the bottom of the page to search by address.
Zone A is blue and is the most at-risk for flooding from a hurricane. The risk goes down from there: Zone B is green, C is orange and D is red. The zone map covers 23 localities and 1.25 million people living in Coastal Virginia.
The evacuation went into effect at 8 a.m. Tuesday.
Holly Tower lives near Sandbridge Beach, which is a Zone A area. Her family of five evacuated to stay with a friend in Kempsville early Tuesday morning.
“I don’t want to her stuck down here with no power for God knows how long. We have kids so we have to get them out,” she said. “I don’t want to play around with my safety or my families safety.”
Officials in Portsmouth on Monday advised Zone A residents to first seek shelter with family or friends in nearby zones C or D. Residents are also advised to travel north if they must leave.
Officials said residents should also take all important papers, medications and other critical items.
Emergency shelters will be open in Portsmouth as a last resort. The city is expected to confirm on Tuesday what dates and times these shelters will be open.
The City of Chesapeake said in a tweet Tuesday morning that tolling on Route 168 Chesapeake Expressway was suspended amid mandatory evacuations.
Remember: Watch the latest warnings and advisories on WAVY News 10 and WAVY.com.
Emergency management officials can’t stress enough how important it is to have a hurricane survival kit and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to create one.
Before you grab a shopping cart to load up on hurricane survival supplies, open up your cabinets at home. You likely have most of what you need already.
- Cell phone with chargers
- Hand-crank or battery-operated radio
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First-aid kit
- Paper plates, cups and plastic utensils
- Extra cash or travelers cheques, loose change
- Manual can opener, utility knife
- Map of area (for locating shelters or evacuation routes)
- Matches in waterproof container
- Multi-purpose tool
- Insect repellent and sunscreen
- Camera (damage photos)
- Extra set of car keys and house keys