PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Hampton Roads and northeast North Carolina are bracing for the worst as Hurricane Dorian is trekking along the U.S. East Coast.
Life-threatening storm surge and dangerous winds are expected. As a precaution, several localities have announced voluntary and mandatory evacuations. Click here for the latest evacuation notices in our region.
The National Hurricane Center said in its 2 a.m. update Friday morning that Dorian was a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds around 90 mph, and was expected to weaken further. Dorian was located about 30 miles south, southwest of Cape Lookout, North Carolina.
A hurricane warning is in effect for North Carolina’s Outer Banks, while a tropical storm warning is in effect for much of the Hampton Roads region.
Conditions started to pick up along the Outer Banks on Thursday evening, with NC 12 already covered by water. Many storefronts and buildings are boarded up in preparation of what’s to come.
Kitty Hawk Mayor Gary Perry said, “What I want them to do is prepare for the worst if they are going to stay here, if they are visitors or residents. Once the storm hits, stay inside, stay off the roads.”
Crews in Norfolk were out Thursday working to clear any debris around storm drains. The city also issued a voluntary evacuation for residents living in Zone A flood areas.
Erin Sutton, Virginia Beach’s deputy emergency services coordinator, said, “(Gov. Ralph Northam) has decided not to issue a mandatory evacuation and what he has decided is to yield to the localities to identify the areas that they may see as needed to move to higher ground.”
The resort city provided free sand for its residents to help protect their homes against flooding.
Cities across Southside Hampton Roads adjusted services including parking and waste collection ahead of the storm’s forecast impact
Dorian is forecast to potentially bring hurricane-force winds to the southern Outer Banks Friday morning.
This potential track would mean tropical storm-force winds for much of the Hampton Roads region. Read more about the expected impact in the WAVY Weather blogs.