NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - Residents and officials in Newport News expect flooding, power outages and downed trees from Hurricane Sandy.
Officials are especially concerned about flooding in low lying areas in Newport News and Hampton after severe flooding during a rainstorm in August.
At the City Line apartments in Newport News, first floor tenants were evacuated. The fire chief says the residents planned to move in Friday, but have delayed the move because of Hurricane Sandy.
The fire chief says having the first floor of the complex vacant is helpful because it allows firefighters to focus on other calls that may be urgent.
City Line residents say they always expect flooding, even during a regular rain storm.
"There's nothing to worry about when you got God," said Patricia Williams, who lives in a second floor apartment. "I'm not worried."
Newport News city workers are on call this weekend. The number of workers to respond will depend on the storm's track.
The fire chief urges Newport News residents to prepare for heavy rainfall over a period of several days. Chief Scott Liebold wants residents to move vehicles to higher ground, and find somewhere to stay if you live in a low lying area.
Chief Liebold says all of the fire boats are ready for evacuations, if needed. He says the city will prepare for the worst, while weighing the cost vs. benefit of staffing the storm.
"We always pull back and weigh on the side of citizens," said Chief Liebold. "We always say if we have to bring in an extra 30 people and pay them overtime for 12 hours and let the storm pass and they don't get any work, well, that's good for the citizens."
Newport News has formed a list of locations for emergency shelters, in the case they will be needed. That list will be released to the media when it is finalized.
Public works crews across the Peninsula have been checking known choke points in the storm drainage system for blockages and clearing bar screens of any debris.
In Newport News, garbage collections for the week will be delayed by one day, meaning Monday's collections will be made on Tuesday, and so on. Residents should secure their garbage cans and bins until then. Bulk debris should not be left on the street because it may clog the drainage system.
The following is from a City of Hampton news release, received Friday afternoon:
- "Rain could hit by Saturday afternoon, with rainfall totals between 5-7 inches before it tapers off Monday.
- Sustained winds of 40-45 mph are possible, with wind gusts up to 60 mph. While the sustained winds would start early Sunday, gusts could be seen much sooner.
- Moderate flooding is expected from a storm surge of 3-5 feet, with high tides reaching 6-7 feet above the mean low water level Sunday and Monday."
Witnesses tell WAVY.com the attack of a shopper was the cause of a heavy police presence at the Ross department store at Military Circle in Norfolk Wednesday night.
State officials say construction on a new Bonner Bridge has been delayed for years because of a legal battle with an environmental group.
Michelle Price with Newport News Public Schools told WAVY.com at least three city school buses ran substantially late Wednesday afternoon, delivering children home several hours after dismissal.
Plans to enhance a popular park in Smithfield are on hold. Some people say City Council is trying to commercialize a natural and historic treasure, and leave them out of the loop.
Drivers traveling between Hatteras Island and the mainland were forced to use an emergency ferry Wednesday, following the sudden closure of the Bonner Bridge Tuesday.
Hampton Fire units arrived at the scene of a residential fire in the 3800 block of Shell Road just after 6 p.m.
A police standoff at a Newport News home turned deadly Wednesday evening.