NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Friday, Sept. 14: Ports in Virginia were reopened by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port of Hampton Roads on Friday afternoon.
Thursday, Sept. 13: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has reduced the amount of water in Lake Drummond inside the Great Dismal Swamp in preparation for potential flooding following the anticipated Friday morning landfall of Hurricane Florence.
Typically Lake Drummond has a water level of 5-feet-4-inches. The corps lowered that level to 4.48 feet, as well as the amount of water located in the Dismal Swamp Canal. The lowered water levels will allow extra water to be stored in the canal if the area sees heavy rainfall, according to a corps news release.
The Dismal Swamp and Albemarle and Chesapeake canals were closed to navigation on Thursday, along with the Port of Virginia.
In Portsmouth, water was drained from cells at the Craney Island Dredged Material Management facility. Military project sites were secured in preparation for Hurricane Florence, and storm inspections were done at the Virginia Beach Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Project, Sandbridge Beach, Tangier Island and Buckroe Beach.
Zone A corps facilities were evacuated following a mandatory order issued by Gov. Ralph Northm on Monday.
At that time, Hurricane Florence was a Category 4 storm with a less defined path. As of Thursday morning, the hurricane seems to be heading toward Willmington, North Carolina, largely avoiding Hampton Roads. The region will likely experience residual effects of the storm like rainfall and tidal flooding.
The corps will help the U.S. Coast Guard of the Port of Virginia as the agencies remove hazards that could impact boats and ships.