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).

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Sep 21

Potential Tropical Cyclone #16 (likely future Ophelia) Update

Posted on September 21, 2023 at 4:21 PM by Daniel Hudson

Team – 

NWS / VDEM Update:

Based on the 3 pm conference call, it appears the tropical system is heading in the northerly direction and is anticipated to make landfall on the NC coast tomorrow/tomorrow night.  While the forecasted track of the storm could shift a bit to the left or right, there is a high degree of confidence that any such adjustment will not be enough to alleviate any concerns we have regarding impacts.  In fact, this system could potentially intensify prior to making landfall.  This means that while we’re forecasted to see sustained winds around 35 mph and gusts upward of 50 mph, we shouldn’t be surprised if they show higher in future updates.  It is also worth noting that our “low tides” may not be low.  For example, when reviewing the Tide Chart, note that the low tide expected at 10 am Saturday will still be close to the Minor Flood Stage.  This means we could experience nuisance flooding on those low-lying roadways over a period of 20 hours (midnight Saturday morning through 8 pm Saturday evening).  The Hourly Graph still shows the arrival of rainfall around 2 pm tomorrow (Friday) and remains through Saturday afternoon and into the evening.  3-4” is still the forecasted amount for the next 72 hours.  The next NWS Briefing Update is expected around 5 pm and the next NWS/VDEM Conference Call is scheduled for tomorrow at 1 pm.

Dominion Energy:  I want to also relay important information from our friends at Dominion Energy who are also tracking this system and preparing: “If an outage occurs, the more information we have about outages, the faster we can respond and make the needed repairs.  Please encourage your constituents to contact us promptly if their power goes out.  They can notify us online at https://www.dominionenergy.com/outage-center/report-and-check-outages, call us at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357), or use our mobile app.  We encourage customers to download the Dominion Energy app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store… Customers should also call 1-866-DOM-HELP to report downed lines.  Everyone should stay at least 30 feet away from downed lines and make sure family members, neighbors, and pets also avoid the wires.”

Norfolk Status Update

  • Garbage collection will continue as scheduled.
  • The pedestrian floodgate in front of the USS Wisconsin is scheduled to be closed tomorrow morning; the closure of the others will be decided at that time.
  • We continue to highlight our partnership with WAZE so drivers can identify, prevent, and be re-routed around flooded roads.  We’re also encouraging people to secure loose items in their yards ahead of the elevated winds.  And of course, to call 1-866-DOM-HELP to report outages and/or downed lines.
  • CHANGE FROM LAST UPDATE: Parking availability will be at the York Street Garage only, not the Brambleton Lot.  Apologies for getting ahead of myself on that one…  the official city information reflects the correct information.

Huge thanks to our partners willing to share their statuses as well:

  • Norfolk Public Schools: All school-related activities must conclude by 6 p.m. this evening and all school-related activities for Saturday and Sunday are canceled or will be rescheduled due to the forecast for inclement weather.
  • Old Dominion University continues to monitor and modify its Homecoming activities. The 3:30 pm football game is still a go.

Final Note: Some of you are seeing this email string for the first time.  In order to prevent the possibility of a city department not receiving this information, we reconciled the distribution list with our Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) and now every director and their deputy (or immediate successor) should receive these updates from now on.  (This has also opened our eyes to some updates and corrections needing to be made to the COOP…).  Do keep in mind, that this email group is intended to be small, as the updates are also shared with all of our Team Norfolk partners via Norfolk Alert.  If you are aware of someone who is receiving neither these emails nor Norfolk Alert updates and you believe they should, let us know at EOC-Plans@norfolk.gov!

We will forward you the afternoon NWS brief slides when they are received.

Thank you!

Jim Redick