PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) - President Barack Obama has declared an emergency for Virginia as a result of Superstorm Sandy.
Obama's declaration authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help state and local authorities respond to the storm.
Virginia Department of Emergency Management spokesman Bob Spieldenner says officials will begin assessing damage in coastal areas Tuesday morning.
Northern Virginia is still being hit with rain and wind, while southwestern counties are bracing for snow.
Cleanup began Tuesday, after Hurricane Sandy passed through Hampton Roads, leaving debris on roadways and areas flooded.
Less than 800 customers are without power in Hampton Roads and northern North Carolina, according to Dominion Virginia Power. 75,452 total customers were impacted since 4 p.m. Saturday.
At this time, Dominion's main work includes repairing broken poles and downed power lines. Power has been restored to all schools in the area.
The National Hurricane Center says the hurricane's wind speed increased early Monday to 85 mph with additional strengthening possible, but the storm was downgraded at 8 p.m. Monday to a post-tropical storm.
Sandy had forced the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sent coastal residents fleeing for higher ground, and threatened to bring a dangerous mix of high winds, soaking rain and a surging wall of water.
Sandy has stayed on a predicted path that could take it over Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York on its way to a collision course with two other weather systems, creating a superstorm with the potential for havoc over 800 miles from the East Coast to the Great Lakes.
Sandy made landfall in New Jersey shortly after 7 p.m. as flooding took over Atlantic City.
The National Weather Service in Wakefield issued a coastal flood warning from 6 a.m. Sunday to midnight Monday for Virginia Beach and Currituck, N.C.
The City of Chesapeake ordered a Voluntary Evacuation for residents living in low-lying, flood-prone areas Sunday evening. Affected residents are encouraged to take shelter with family or friends on higher ground, or they can utilize a city shelter. Click here for the full list of Hampton Roads shelter locations, by city.
Virginia Beach, Portsmouth and Norfolk have opened parking garages to residents.
Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell issued a State of Emergency Friday afternoon.
"We are issuing this state of emergency today as a precautionary measure in order to ensure that we are ready for any potential effects of Hurricane Sandy in the Commonwealth," McDonnell said in a news release.
Gov. McDonnell has authorized up to 750 members of the Virginia National Guard to assist with the storm, with about 415 already in place.
The Navy has ordered all installations in the Hampton Roads area to set "Tropical Cyclone Condition Three." This means destructive winds greater than 50 knots are expected within 48 hours.
Preparations by the Navy include securing hazards, removing debris and sandbagging areas.
Workers in Norfolk and Newport News are cleaning storm drains and officials in Dare County expect significant sand erosion.
VDOT officials say they are closely watching the storm as well, and in case Sandy does make landfall in Hampton Roads, crews will work to open any closed roads as quickly as possible.
Dare County authorities are concerned about a potential loss of N.C. 12 in the Outer Banks due to overwash. Highway 12 on Hatteras Island remains closed due to sand and water on the roadway. NCDOT has suspended ferry service between Hatteras Village and Ocracoke. NCDOT road information is available by calling 511 or online at www.ncdot.gov/travel
FEMA recommends all residents properly secure outdoor furnishings, trash cans and any loose items, and start putting together a hurricane preparedness kit, including non-perishable food items and water for a few days.
Stay with WAVY News on air and online as further updates become available.
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