Public works crews preparing for impacts from Hurricane Michael


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Hurricane Michael could still pack a punch when it reaches Hampton Roads. That’s why public works crews have been busy getting ready for whatever might happen.

City officials say the crews are doing what they typically do before a storm, clear drains and ditches.  They say their crews are geared up and ready to go, no matter what Michael brings.

Clearing debris from storm drains is a relatively quick process and it’s one that can make a big difference.

“We cleaned this one out before Florence, and we’re back again today.  We pulled out a bunch of stuff,” said Ronald Olsen, Chesapeake Public Works crew leader.  

They are working on storm drains that tend of get backed up, hoping to clear as many as possible before Michael comes.

Olsen said, “It makes a big difference because once the storm’s here, this street’s underwater if we hadn’t done what we did so you know you gotta try to stay ahead of it.”

People who live on Blanche Drive in Chesapeake say the street floods often, even if the rain isn’t from a big storm or hurricane. 

“Regular rainfall makes the whole street flood pretty quickly,” said resident Caitlin De Souza.  “The rain right before the hurricane, our whole neighborhood flooded to the point where people were kayaking around.”

De Souza says her street is often filled with water and she’s concerned about what Michael might bring.  Her family has gathered supplies just in case they have to hunker down. 

“It’s always something that makes us worry.  We can only be as ready as we can,” she said.  “A lot of anxiety.”

If you live in Chesapeake and have issues with flooding, call 382-CITY.  

Portsmouth residents should call public works at 393-8666.

Hampton residents are urged to monitor the city’s social media sites for updates.  Officials say trash collection will take place as scheduled on Thursday.  Collections on Friday, Monday and Tuesday will depend on Michael’s impact on the area.  Residents are also reminded that it’s against city ordinances to put out bulk trash or yard debris early.

If you live in Suffolk, the number for non-emergency roadway-related issues is 514-7600.  The police department’s non-emergency number is 923-2350.

Norfolk residents should call 664-6510 to report any flooding.  Officials also ask residents to clear debris from their front yards or nearby storm drains.

Virginia Beach Public Works can be reached at 385-4167. 

Newport News Public Works can be reached at 933-2311.

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