Staunton officials urging Ida storm prep
The current weather forecast shows that the remnants of Hurricane Ida will affect Virginia later this week with possible rainfall of 2-4 inches.
The City of Staunton emergency management team is encouraging residents to be prepared for possible flooding.
- Local emergency management officials are mobilizing resources and monitoring state and federal sources to stay informed of the latest storm track.
- The city’s Public Works Department has commenced efforts to clear storm drain inlets, pipes, and culverts, and to clear debris and remove obstructions from creeks. Owners and occupants of properties are requested to assist the city by clearing storm drain inlets on or adjacent to their properties.
- Tomorrow, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department will begin a slow release of water in Lake Tams in Gypsy Hill Park to increase its stormwater retention capacity. With the increased capacity, the amount of water that reaches the main water course immediately after this week’s rain will be reduced, possibly mitigating the effects of flooding downstream.
- The city advises owners and occupants of properties on Byers Street, Lewis Street and Central Avenue, whose properties are equipped with flood shields, to monitor the storm and be prepared to mount shields if conditions warrant.
- To mitigate potential flood debris, residents in low-lying areas prone to flooding are asked to secure items that could be carried away by rising waters or high winds such as outdoor furniture, grills, children’s toys, and trash cans.
- Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
- Avoid downed power lines; report them immediately to 911 and Dominion Energy at 800.366.4357.
Closures and cancellations
- Street and park closures may be necessary, depending on conditions during the storm. Observe signs posted by the city and stay tuned for updates on closures and cancellations.
- Individuals are asked to avoid parking in low-lying areas prone to flooding. Fee-free, off-street parking is available in the New Street and Johnson Street parking garages from 6 p.m. on Tuesday to 8 a.m. on Thursday.
- The city’s emergency management team urges individuals to subscribe to Staunton Alert Messages, the city’s emergency alert system, to stay updated if the storm severely impacts the city. Individuals can opt to receive emergency alerts via text, phone call, and email.
- Individuals should also stay tuned to the City of Staunton’s Facebook and Twitter pages to get the latest information — on Facebook: City of Staunton; on Twitter: @StauntonCityVA.
- In an emergency, always call 911.Do not contact the City through social media channels or through non-emergency numbers to report an emergency.
Additional safety guidelines
City officials strongly stress the importance of personal preparedness in pending storm situations, noting that the best protection comes from having disaster plans and emergency kits for homes and businesses.
The following link connects to hurricane preparedness information from the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission: cspdc.org/programs/disaster/documents/HurricaneGuide-Revised2016.pdf.