Emergency Preparedness & Response

The Department of Emergency Preparedness and Response consists of two divisions which are also the central point of contact for Emergency Management and Emergency Communications (911).

Sep 23

Team Norfolk Tropical Strom Ophelia Final Update

Posted on September 23, 2023 at 4:35 PM by Daniel Hudson

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This will be the final update regarding Tropical Storm Ophelia.  The Hourly Graph shows no winds or rainfall amounts of concern and the Tide Chart reflects a forecasted afternoon high tide slightly lower than previous forecasts and the observation is indicating it will be lower still.  That’s not to suggest ponding isn’t on the roadways; the WAZE Live Map shows the alerts are working well and constantly updated by the Wazers in and around the community.

While not expected, you will be notified if conditions change.  Likewise, if there are any lessons learned you would like captured, or anything you would like to report or ask, please do so at EOC-Plans@norfolk.gov.  We will be in touch with city departments to update the Continuity of Operations Plan!

Finally, I have seen rain observations around 4.1” for Norfolk and I’m not indicating that’s not correct; I’m just attaching NWS rainfall observation information which is otherwise available here.  If we receive additional information, we will share it with all interested.

THANK YOU to all who make up this amazing Team.  It’s an honor and pleasure to work with so many incredible people (and friends) and all the more rewarding when things go according to plan!


Jim Redick 


Sep 23

Team Norfolk Tropical Strom Ophelia Update

Posted on September 23, 2023 at 9:12 AM by Daniel Hudson

Team Norfolk,

Good morning!  Here is this morning’s update from the NWS.  We conducted an internal call with City Manager Pat Roberts and city departments to review overnight conditions/impacts and huddle to discuss today’s focus and objectives.

Weather Info:

Based on the Tide Chart we know the observed 3 am high tide of 5.4’ fell short of the forecast of 6.4’.  This afternoon’s high tide is forecasted to peak at 5.5’ at 3 pm which again will result in ponding on the roadways.  

The NWS observed wind speeds for our area are recorded as follows:


Norfolk NAS Cham                     55 MPH    0911 PM 09/22   AWOS

Norfolk Intl Airport                       55 MPH    0912 PM 09/22   ASOS

Lafayette River                           55 MPH    0723 PM 09/22   WXFLOW

South Norfolk Jordan Bridge      55 MPH    1103 PM 09/22   WXFLOW

South Craney Island                  52 MPH    1106 PM 09/22   NOS-PORTS

Norfolk                                       36 MPH    0945 PM 09/22   CWOP

Norfolk                                       33 MPH    1115 PM 09/22   CWOP

Norfolk                                       32 MPH    1125 PM 09/22   CWOP

Per the Hourly Graph, wind gusts are expected to reach back into the upper 40mph range around noon then descend throughout the day with another .25-.5” expected.

Overnight impacts:


No water rescues, no injuries, and no fatalities.

911: Reports of at least 6 tree-related calls, 6 electrical- (downed lines) related calls, and 8 calls regarding flooded roads right before this morning’s peak high tide.


  • Total responses to wires down/arching since yesterday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. = 15; Dominion Power has been very responsive to all of our calls for service so far.
  • Since midnight, there have been 50 calls (911) for Fire-Rescue services, about double the expected for this time period.
  • No flooding or high-water issues.
  • No trees on houses or significant property damage were reported to NFR.

Police: Responded to multiple accidents and burglar alarms, the latter of which were storm-related.

CSB: Reports an additional 20 individuals experiencing homelessness reported to, and received care and accommodations at, The Center.


Public Works reported no major issues overnight and no reports of flooded underpasses in the City. 

  • The Brooke Ave. floodgate downtown was closed at midnight.  
  • The pedestrian swing gate downtown remains closed
  • The Mason Creek floodgate remains closed as well.  

Parks & Recreation / Forestry had been responding to tree reports during the overnight hours.  Of the six calls received, there are currently two remaining on roadways (Atterbury Street & West Minster), and more are possible with today’s forecasted gusts.  Crews will continue to respond when safe to do so.

Dominion Energy outage viewer currently shows 527 (out of 130K) customers without power in Norfolk.  These spots are scattered throughout the city, with no specific areas.

General Services / Parking reports 100 spaces left available in the York Street garage and plenty of spaces still at the Brambleton Lot (across from Scope Arena).

The Team is committed to response efforts and remaining vigilant throughout the day and will reconvene early this afternoon.

Please send any other reports, questions, or concerns to EOC-Plans@norfolk.gov.

Thank you!

Jim Redick

Sep 22


Posted on September 22, 2023 at 4:16 PM by Daniel Hudson

Team – 

This afternoon we had a conference call with the National Weather Service and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management followed by an internal discussion with City Manager Pat Roberts and team.  During the State call, it was announced the Governor had declared a State of Emergency for Virginia.  More than anything, this is an administrative trigger allowing state resources to be pre-positioned to better respond to any needs.  One resource in particular should be the National Guard and swift-water assets capabilities.  We’ve made no such request, but it’s good to know they’ll be around if the situation changes.

We should already know the impacts, if any, of this afternoon’s peak high tide.  The NWS mentioned this tide may not be as high as originally forecasted, but the overnight tide (3 am.) is still expected to be well into the Moderate Flood stage due to the timing and strength of the N/E winds.

Currently, the pedestrian swing gate in front of the battleship Wisconsin is closed. Public Works has coordinated the closure of Mason Creek as well. They will continue to monitor tide levels to determine if / when other floodgates need to be closed.  

As it pertains to parking safe havens for residents in low-lying areas, the Brambleton Lot has been added to the York Street Garage for free parking. I’ve also been advised that our friends at ODU have made available the Constant Center 43rd Street Garage just south of Chartway Arena for our residents to park their vehicles to avoid forecasted moderate to major tidal flooding this weekend.  GO MONARCHS!!  The garage is located at 1067 W 43rd Street and is open for public parking effective immediately until 5:00 pm Sunday. The clearance for the first floor is 8’2”; the upper floor is 6’9”.  At this point, the accommodations should meet the need; however, Ray Stoner and the Parking Division will monitor City garages this evening and weekend and if the inventory of free spaces gets close to reaching capacity, they will make additional garage space available and communicate it at that time.

The Hourly Graph provides an excellent snapshot of the periods of elevated winds – particularly overnight and tomorrow – as well as the likelihood of rain through 6 pm tomorrow evening.  The NWS shared their concern regarding ground saturation which could very well contribute to downed trees with the elevated wind gusts of up to 50 mph.  Additionally, our area has a slight risk of tornados tonight.  Whichever the scenario, Parks and Recreation and the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office remain at the ready to address any wooded or green debris on the roadways once this storm passes.

Should there be power outages of any duration, we’ll respond appropriately knowing we’re in a very good place temperature-wise.  Temps are expected to remain in the 60’s – 70s at least through Wednesday.  

From our friends at HRT: Service on the Elizabeth River Ferry will be suspended all day Saturday.  All other HRT services will operate on their regular schedule, but customers are advised to expect delays and impromptu detours with bus routes.  Updated information will be made available online at gohrt.com or via Customer Service at 757-222-6100.

City Manager Mr. Roberts announced any City of Norfolk employee in a non-essential status may request to use appropriate leave for the remainder of their shift, as of noon today.  Libraries and Recreation Centers will be closed tomorrow (Saturday).  CSB services resume as normal with additional outreach among those most vulnerable to the inclement conditions.

The Emergency Management team will continue to monitor conditions, send updates, and receive reports, but there is no physical EOC activation currently scheduled at this time.  No local emergency declaration and no shelters.  Conditions and strategies will be reassessed at 7:30 am.  

Lastly, please capture and send pictures!  To borrow the adage, “If there are no pictures, it never happened…”  Your pictures help to tell Norfolk’s story and the incredible work performed by the teams!


Jim Redick