VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Even though the eye of Dorian will likely be at least 100 miles away from Virginia Beach, the city is preparing, and helping residents prepare their homes.
Sand was delivered to the Virginia Beach Sportsplex Wednesday morning. A limited number of shovels and containers will be provided by the city, so residents are strongly encouraged to bring their own shovel and bags/containers.
At the SportsPlex on Landstowne Center Way, tons of sand were available for homeowners to fill sandbags.
Mark and Shelly Hopkin were among the people who brought bags, shovels and a little bit of muscle. They remember Hurricane Matthew.
“We had water rushing across Salem Road onto our property and we had the creek that flooded behind us,” Shelly recalls. “We were literally surrounded by water.”
“We were able to kayak down our driveway and down Salem Road. That’s how bad it was,” Marc said.
This is the second consecutive year the city has offered free sand. Cliff Dietz lives in Windsor woods, and he’s the good Samaritan of his neighborhood.
Residents will be allowed to fill bags for personal use only. Trucks or bulk pick-up trucks are not allowed to be filled.
“I go ahead and collect (the sand bags) mainly for my neighbors. I live in a cul-de-sac, and a lot of them are up there in age. They’re unable to do something like this for themselves.”
Out at the Oceanfront, the city put up another huge pile of sand but for a different reason. It’s a barrier around Grommet Island park, a key surfing spot.
Drew Lankford of the Virginia Beach Public Works department says that has to do with the shape of the beach at that point.
“Where it curves around at Rudee Inlet, we found that strong winds were blowing sand and so many other things into the storm water system. It was creating real problems,” Lankford said.
Emergency Manager Erin Sutton says they are preparing for worst case scenarios when it comes to high water and flooding, and Dorian’s unpredictability is making it tough.
The city is making the free sand available until 7:45 PM Wednesday evening, and then again beginning at 9:00 Thursday morning. It is illegal to take sand from the beach.
Elizabeth City has also announced that residents concerned about flooding may fill their sand bags for free at the City of Elizabeth City Public Works Department located at 410 Pritchard Street starting Wednesday at 10 a.m. Emergency Management suggests you bring a partner and a large shovel.