Two shelters open in Hampton as residents prepare for Florence

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HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Stores in the region were busy again Tuesday as people searched for some of those must-have items.  Plus, people are heading to shelters after Governor Ralph Northam’s mandatory evacuation for Zone A.

It’s the rush for last-minute supplies and it packed a Walmart in Newport News.

Linda Copeland, who lives in Hampton, said, “Toiletries, paper products, and we got some canned goods.”

Local shelters opening ahead of Hurricane Florence

WAVY Hurricane Guide

“It was a zoo,” said Carrollton resident Georgina Oladokun. “Sure enough there was no water, they said come back at like 4 p.m. so people are buying Gatorade, buying bags of ice and what not.”

The people 10 On Your Side spoke with say they want to be prepared, but they’re not afraid.

“I just take one day at a time,” Copeland said.

Karen Mayfield, a Newport News resident, said, “No I’m not nervous, I’ve been in hurricanes before.”

City officials and crews are also preparing.

“We have crews out clearing storm drains and picking out debris from the storm drains.  We have people manning shelters and preparing to set up if we need more shelters,” said Robin McCormick, spokeswoman for the City of Hampton. 

Two shelters are currently open.  Anyone with medical needs should go to Phenix School.  If you have a pet, go to Bethel High school.  Both are off of Big Bethel Road and are there to house people under the mandatory evacuations.

“We won’t be able to put emergency personnel in there to rescue them in the height of the storm,” said McCormick.  “Our big trucks have to come off when the wind speed get high, most of our firetrucks, and certainly all of our ambulances can’t get through flooded roads.”

They can hold 800 people and the city will open more as needed.  Officials want you to take the next few days and get ready before the storm hits. 

“Because the ground is wet, because we’re having rain and flooding, were going to see downed trees, we’re going to see blocked roads, we have the potential to see widespread loss of power so please be prepared,” said McCormick. 

If you are coming to a shelter, bring food, clothing, sleeping supplies, medications, basically anything you need to survive for a few days.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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