PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The National Weather Service issued a tropical storm warning and a storm surge warning for the WAVY viewing area for this weekend beginning Friday.
As of 2 a.m. Saturday, Ophelia’s maximum sustained speed is 70 mph, moving north-northwest at 12 mph. Its location was just off the coast of southeastern North Carolina. The National Hurricane Center said tropical storm conditions were taking place along the coasts of North Carolina and Virginia.
The severe weather, from what became Tropical Storm Ophelia Friday afternoon, is expected to bring heavy rain, significant flooding and strong winds to our region.
The storm surge warning is in effect for the Hampton Roads area — except for Chesapeake — for the danger of life-threatening flooding, according to the National Weather Service. Such warnings are issued up to 36 hours before hazardous conditions begin. It says to urgently complete efforts to protect life and property, and follow any evacuation orders if given for the area to avoid drowning or being cut off from emergency services.
If you encounter a flooded road, do not drive on it if you cannot see the street. The Hampton Roads Planning District and the travel app Waze partnered to install 20 new sensors on roads across the region. Here’s an interactive map of the sensor locations.
There is a potential for power outages. If you lose power, contact Dominion Energy at 1-866-366-4357 or online at dominionenergy.com to report the outage. Do not operate portable generators, grills (gas or charcoal) inside your home or garage. Treat all downed power lines as live.
Dominion said customers in Hampton Roads and northeastern North Carolina had been affected by outages, and were reporting more than 10,000 outages as of 9:30 p.m. Friday, with more than 5,000 of those in Virginia Beach.
Dominion said it was planning for a multi-day event.
City officials in several localities have alerted their residents of the incoming weather and some of the precautions they are taking. Local schools are also dismissing early and canceling after-school activities for Friday. WAVY will update this post with any new information.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin has declared a state of emergency for Virginia in anticipation of storm.
The YMCA of South Hampton Roads called off all scheduled activities at 4 p.m. Friday and they will not resume until Sunday.
City Manager Chris Price has declared a local state of emergency in the city of Chesapeake, effective at noon Friday.
The city of Chesapeake has opened the parking garage at Tidewater Community College starting Friday. Parking spots are available on the second and third floors only on a first come, first serve basis. Vehicles can’t enter or exit the garage between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
All after-school activities for Friday must conclude by 5 p.m. including YMCA child care and Boys and Girls Club. All activities Saturday are canceled.
Due to pending inclement weather, Northampton County Public Schools will dismiss early Friday. High school and middle school students will be released at 1 p.m., and elementary students will be released at 1:30 p.m.
The town of Exmore announced that the Stars & Cars concert scheduled for Saturday at ACE has been canceled.
Due to the forecasted storm, Accomack County Public Schools will dismiss early Friday. Middle and high schools will dismiss at 12:30 p.m., and elementary schools will dismiss at 1:30 p.m. All afterschool activities are canceled Friday.
Though Gloucester County Public Schools has not made an announcement about schools or activities Friday, it did note that they are making plans in the event students riding the bus need to be dropped off at alternative locations. It has three buses that serve low-lying areas in the Guinea, Glass Road and Almondsville Road areas.
The city parking garage on Settlers Landing Road at History Museum Way is available to anyone who needs to park away from a flood zone. Keep an eye on the city’s social media accounts for information on other outdoor events.
There is also a risk of flash flooding in non-tidal areas due to the predicted four inches of rain.
The city will open an emergency shelter at 5 p.m. at the Phenix School, located at 1061 Big Bethel Road. Pets will be accepted with families. Click here for guidelines on the shelter and for what to bring.
Hampton City Schools said that based on current information, Friday will be a full instructional day. But due to the forecast of inclement weather beginning later Friday and potential tidal flooding through early Sunday, all afterschool and evening activities Friday, and all activities Saturday and Sunday, have been canceled. It asked families to be prepared to make arrangements in the event that an early dismissal is deemed necessary Friday.
The city’s School-Aged Programs said they are canceling all afterschool care and programs Friday.
Here are more updates from Hampton:
The city is asking residents not to put out bulk trash over the weekend for next week’s pickup.
All public libraries, community centers and neighborhood centers will be closed on Saturday and are scheduled to reopen Sunday morning.
The James T. Wilson fishing pier at Buckroe Beach will close at 3 p.m. Friday and is scheduled to reopen Sunday morning.
The Buckroe Beach Farmers Market on Saturday has been canceled.
The Hampton Cup Regatta boat race has been canceled.
There will be no boat rentals on Saturday at Sandy Bottom Nature Park.
The following parks and facilities will be closed on Saturday: Air Power Park and museum, Bluebird Gap Farm, Darling Stadium, Hampton Tennis Center, and The Woodlands and The Hamptons golf courses.
Hampton Roads Transit plans to operate on its regular schedule but advises riders to expect “delays and impromptu detours.”
Isle of Wight County
Isle of Wight County Schools is dismissing two hours early on Friday due to concerns over flooding and strong winds Friday afternoon.
The Isle of Wight County’s Picnic and Play event has been rescheduled to Oct. 7.
Joint Base Langley-Eustis
Gate closures for Joint Base Langley-Eustis include:
Langley AFB: LaSalle (24/7 access until further notice), King St. (closed 3 p.m. Friday until further notice) and Armistead, closed at 6 p.m. Friday until further notice
Gate 1: Normal hours of operation
Gate 2: Closed at 3 p.m. Friday and will reopen Monday for normal hours of operations.
Friday Afterschool Activities and Weekend Activities Canceled
Due to forecasted weather conditions, all afterschool activities are canceled for Friday, and all school-related events and activities are canceled for Saturday and Sunday.
Hampton Roads Transit Elizabeth River Ferry Service in Norfolk suspended Saturday. Bus and light rail services are currently planned to operate as usual, but customers should expect delays and impromptu detours.
To track changes in service, customers are encouraged to visit gohrt.com and follow Hampton Roads Transit on Facebook, Instagram and X.
The York Street Garage and the Brambleton Lot in downtown Norfolk will open to residents for free beginning at 9 a.m. Friday through 9 a.m. Sunday. For additional weather updates from the city of Norfolk, sign up for Norfolk Alert at www.norfolk.gov/alert or text NORFOLKVA to 888-777. Old Dominion University has also opened its Constant Center 43rd Street Garage (1067 W 43rd St.) to Norfolk residents until 5 p.m. Sunday.
Norfolk Public Schools announced that all school athletics and activities and practices would conclude by 6 p.m. Friday, and are all canceled for Saturday and Sunday due to the forecast. Friday night football games were moved to Thursday night, and JV games in Norfolk will be moved.
Public Works crews are clearing drains and ditches. Vactor trucks will operate all day Friday and remain on-call throughout the weekend, as will pump station staff and additional operations crews. The Nauticus pedestrian flood gate will be closed starting Friday morning.
“Don’t drive in it, and definitely don’t let your kids play in it,” said Jim Redick with Norfolk Emergency Preparedness and Response. “You don’t want to know what’s in that water. It’s not going to be good for anyone that’s in there. We see a lot of folks who end up getting sick because they play in the floodwaters.”
Trash collection scheduled for Friday, will be collected as usual. Residents should ensure that all items are bagged before placed in waste bins.
Old Dominion’s homecoming football game is still on for 3:30 p.m. Saturday. However, outside tailgating has been suspended, Kaufman Mall activities have been moved to the Webb Center and the Homecoming parade has been canceled.
Norfolk International Airport says as of 11:40 a.m. airline operations were not being affected by the storm but travelers are encouraged to check with their airline for flight status. Airport Operations staff will open the Storm Desk at 1:00pm today which will remain open for the duration of the weather.
The Virginia Zoo in Norfolk will be closed Saturday because of the weather.
Norfolk Public Library locations, Slover Library, and rec centers are closed Saturday.
All Portsmouth Courts including the Circuit Court and the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, General District Court, and Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court closed at noon Friday.
Portsmouth City Offices and facilities close at 1 p.m., and all Portsmouth Public Library programs in Saturday will be rescheduled.
The parking garages open to residents from Friday through 7 a.m. Monday are:
- The Middle Street
- Water Street
- 1st Floor County Street
Note: No trailers are permitted, and residents cannot park in reserved spaces.
The Fish Bowl Parade scheduled for Saturday is canceled.
The Olde Towne Farmers Market is postponed until 9 a.m. Sunday.
Portsmouth Public Schools are operating on a early release schedule on Friday. All after school activities are also canceled.
Poquoson is opening these sites for storm parking (parking at schools opens at 2 p.m. and ends Sunday evening, parking at churches begins at 4 p.m. Friday and goes through 9 a.m. Sunday)
- Poquoson High School (51 Odd Road)
- Poquoson Primary School (19 Odd Road)
- City Hall Avenue (500 City Hall Avenue)
- S. Lawson Park (1236 Poquoson Avenue)
- Emmaus Baptist Church (814 Yorktown Road)
- Victory Church (410 E. Yorktown Road)
Southampton County Public Schools will be dismissing early Friday. Secondary schools will dismiss at noon, and elementary students will be dismissed at 1 p.m.
Suffolk Public Schools is releasing early on Friday. You can see the full list of early release times here.
Service at the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry will be reduced to one ferry boat beginning Friday afternoon, until further notice, due to storm-related high tides. Service will be restored when waters recede. Motorists should plan for potential delays and are encouraged to call the ferry hotline at 1-800-VA-FERRY (1-800-823-3779).
Virginia Beach City Public Schools announced that all after-school activities and programming are canceled Friday with the exception of Parks and Rec after-school programs.
Virginia Beach residents may park their vehicles for free in municipal garages at 9th and 31st streets through noon Sunday. When entering, pull a ticket from the kiosk. Scan ticket at the kiosk to exit garage by Sunday at noon to avoid charges, the city says.
Parking is also available at four municipal garages at Town Center:
- Maroon Garage (Apex Entertainment VB)
- Red Garage (Westin Hotel)
- Green Garage (Armada Hoffler Tower)
- Orange Garage (Clark Nexsen Tower)
First Landing State Park will also be closed through Saturday.
Williamsburg/James City County
All after-school activities and school-related events for Friday, Saturday and Sunday have been canceled or postponed. More details here.
The York County School Division announced it was closing two hours early on Friday. All afterschool activities Friday and all school-related events and activities for Saturday and Sunday are canceled.
The following parking lots have been opened for residents to park. Citizens are asked to remove their vehicles from these lots by Monday afternoon. Please do not park your vehicles at County school sites.
- McReynolds Athletic Complex (412 Sports Way) and
- Chisman Creek Park (1314 Wolf Trap Road)
The following County programs/services are affected by the storm:
- Yorktown Market Days scheduled for Sept. 23 has been canceled.
- The Yorktown Trolley will not be in operation Saturday.
- Riverwalk Landing Piers are closed Saturday
- Friday’s Skate, Rattle, and Roll program is canceled. All weekend skating parties are canceled.
- York County’s parks are closed Saturday and Sunday, and all Parks & Recreation activities are canceled for the weekend.
Northeastern North Carolina
Due to the potential weather threat, Camden County Schools will have an 11:30 a.m. early release day Friday. It will have both breakfast and lunch service before dismissal, and there will be no afterschool activities or afterschool daycare Friday.
The Camden Heritage Festival has been canceled.
Edenton-Chowan Schools will release students at 11:30 a.m. Friday due to the potential for tropical storm conditions.
Currituck County Schools announced an early release day Friday due to potential impacts from the pending tropical storm. All afterschool activities will also be canceled Friday.
In Corolla, the Whalehead Subdivision will not have trash can roll out Friday and no trash pickup Saturday. Due to the storm, trash cans will be rolled out Sunday and collected Monday.
Saturday trash collection for the following Corolla communities will also be rescheduled to Monday: Ocean Sands North Section D-F and H-Q; Monterey Shores; Corolla Bay; Corolla Village; Ocean Hill; and Villages of Ocean Hill.
The following county facilities will be closed Saturday:
- Moyock Welcome Center
- Corolla Visitors Center
- Whalehead in Historic Corolla Park
- Maritime Museum
- Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education
- All branches of the Currituck Public Library
- Transfer station
- All trash and recycling centers
- Animal Shelter
The Apple Tasting Program scheduled at the Moyock Library for this Saturday has been rescheduled to Saturday, Sept. 30.
Town of Edenton and Edenton-Chowan Schools
Edenton-Chowan Schools will release at 11:30 a.m. on Friday due to inclement weather.
The Town of Edenton’s administrative offices will close at 1 p.m. All reports of outages, downed trees, damage or non-emergencies should be directed to Chowan County Central Communications at 252-482-4444.
Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools will operate on a three-hour early release schedule Friday due to anticipated impacts from Tropical Storm Ophelia. All afterschool and evening activities, including the After School Care Program, are canceled.
The Elizabeth City Fire Department’s fire safety show has been canceled. There’s no makeup date, but they said it will happen next year.
Gates County Schools will dismiss at noon Friday due to impending inclement weather.
No updates have been released at this time.
The Pasquotank Library and convenience sites will be closed Saturday.
Perquimans County Schools will release students at noon Friday due to expected tropical storm conditions in the afternoon.
As of early Friday evening, there was about a half-inch of sand across both lanes of N.C. 12 just south of the Marc Basnight Bridge for one to two miles. The Dare County Sheriff’s Office said drivers are not able to see the yellow and white lines, and that the North Carolina Department of Transportation was on the scene grading it.
The sheriff’s office said the same conditions could be found in the area of the Pea Island Visitor Center and said peak winds sshould happen overnight with the shift from east to southeast/south possible a bit earlier Saturday.
It said the FIMAN gauges have shown the changes in soundside water levels as the wind has pushed the water to the west. It said rapidly rising water levels in soundside locations are possible between Friday evening and early Saturday morning. The sheriff’s office said people should avoid traveling overnight and added that Saturday would be a good time to stay off the roads. Visitors, it said, should wait until Sunday to arrive, and the ocean will stay unsafe for days after Ophelia leaves.
Dare County Schools has announced a remote learning day Friday in anticipation of adverse weather conditions. The division’s big concern, it said, is the increasing wind speeds beginning in the early morning south of Oregon Inlet and after 11 a.m. in the northern parts of Dare County based on recent estimates. Staff members will receive further information about work options via email later Thursday evening.
Due to tropical storm strength winds and heavy rainfall forecast into the weekend, Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s Oregon Inlet, Cape Point, Frisco and Ocracoke campgrounds will close at noon Friday. The campgrounds will reopen once post-storm assessments are completed.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and the Wright Brothers National Memorial will close at noon Friday and reopen Sunday.
Visitors should monitor road conditions at https://drivenc.gov.
The Outer Banks Family YMCA closed at 6 p.m. Friday and was to reassess operations Saturday morning.
All Pamlico Sound ferry departures between Cedar Island, Swan Quarter and Ocracoke have been canceled for Friday. All departures from Hatteras to Ocracoke have been suspended. The North Carolina Ferry System anticipates other cancelations will come. Call 252-996-6000 or 6001 for current information.
The town of Nags Head’s bulk trash collection site will be closed Saturday.
The town noted that as the storm moves northward Saturday, depending on its track, winds could shift quickly to the south or southwest. It said areas of the town vulnerable to soundside flooding, such as areas along Soundside Road, Lakeside Street and on the US 64 causeway, could see some flooding when the storm’s winds switch to the west.
Gov. Roy Cooper and North Carolina Emergency Management encourage eastern and central North Carolina residents to be prepared for tropical weather over the next couple of days, saying gusty winds combined with saturated ground could result in downed trees and power outages, as well as flash flooding and coastal flooding.
Keep up to date with the latest news on WAVY.com.