Commonwealth of Virginia preparing in advance of Tropical Storm Elsa

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Gov. Ralph Northam and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management are closely monitoring the potential impacts of Tropical Storm Elsa on the Commonwealth of Virginia.

While Elsa is predicted to be a tropical depression when it arrives in the Commonwealth on Thursday, it still has the potential to bring significant rain and flash flooding to eastern and central Virginia.

“Current predictions indicate that Tropical Storm Elsa may affect portions of Virginia,” Northam said. “We will continue to monitor the forecast and the potential impacts on the Commonwealth, working closely with local governments to support their needs. Now is the time for Virginians to take precautions and make sure they are prepared.”

The Virginia Emergency Support Team is prepared to support local governments with any storm-related needs.

“Our team has been communicating with local officials for several days in preparation for Elsa’s impact on Virginia,” said Curtis Brown, State Coordinator of Emergency Management. “We want to ensure that each locality has the resources they need to mitigate any impacts from the storm.”

A Tropical Storm Watch is now in effect for portions of southeast Virginia, and the Virginia Eastern Shore. One to three inches of rain, with locally higher amounts, could lead to scattered flash flooding in eastern and central Virginia.

The threat for tropical-storm-force winds continues to increase across southeast and eastern portions of the Commonwealth from Thursday evening into Thursday night. Tropical storm conditions could begin as early as Thursday afternoon and linger into early Friday morning.

The highest probability for tropical-storm-force winds remains along or near the coast.

Preparedness actions

Coastal Virginians should learn their evacuation zone at KnowYourZoneVA.org. If internet or computer access is not available, call 2-1-1 to learn your zone. Residents should monitor the situation for evacuation orders from local and state emergency agencies to determine if and when to evacuate.

Now is the time to develop or update your emergency preparedness plan. Know where you will go if you need to evacuate and how to keep in touch with family and friends. Guidance on planning can be found at www.ready.gov/plan.

For a list of recommended emergency supplies to sustain your household before, during, and after the storm, visit www.ready.gov/kit. Due to COVID-19, the CDC has made additional recommendations for supplies. Families should plan to also include cloth face coverings (for everyone ages 2 and above), soap, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces in their kit.

Additional preparedness information is available at www.vaemergency.gov/hurricanes/ and the Commonwealth’s hurricane evacuation guide for coastal Virginians is available at KnowYourZoneVA.org.

Residents and visitors should stay tuned to local media throughout the weekend to keep close tabs on Tropical Storm Elsa as it approaches the Commonwealth. Be prepared to take action, and know that storm forecasts can vary significantly in a short period of time.

Please follow the Virginia Department of Emergency Management on Twitter and Facebook and your local National Weather Service office for the latest weather forecast, advisories, watches, or warnings for the latest preparedness updates.


Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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Augusta Free Press