Virginia Beach plans to open school shelters ahead of Florence


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Virginia Beach city officials met Monday to discuss emergency plans ahead of Hurricane Florence. They held a briefing to discuss everything from evacuations to shelters and flooding. Hurricane Guide

They are already taking action in anticipation of flooding, including opening shelters. The resort city also recommends people in Sandbridge and Back Bay areas get out now, before the storm hits.

The city plans to open shelters Thursday morning at Kellam High School, Corporate Landing Middle School, Old Donation and a medically friendly shelter will be open at the Field House.

Officials say if you choose to use a shelter, make sure to bring three to five days worth of essentials.

“Bring your personal items, your bedding, your medication, important snacks that you may need particularly if you have a health related issue,” said Dannette Smith, Director of Human Services.

The city is also preparing for flooding by lowering water levels at major lakes, and making sure the drainage systems and pumping stations are in top shape.

The city is securing the Rudy Dredge, working with VDOT on evacuation logistics as well as other odds and ends like building a sand barrier to protect Grommet Park.

“We want to stress to our public that the city of Virginia Beach is well prepared to meet the needs of our citizens, however we want our citizens to know we want them to be self-reliant as well,” said Deputy City Manager Steve Cover.

City Manager Dave Hansen is already recommending evacuations for some of the Virginia Beach community – specifically the areas of Sandbridge and Back Bay.

He said at a news conference Monday, “I can’t make everybody evacuate. I can recommend that they evacuate. That is a choice that every homeowner and every citizens who lives there.”

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