Hurricane Dorian Media Releases

UPDATE 9-9-19 - 4:35 p.m.

HURRICANE DORIAN STORM DEBRIS

For those citizens that may be dealing with storm debris issues following Hurricane Dorian, Suffolk Public Works Refuse Division will waive the 12 cubic yard limit FOR STORM DEBRIS ONLY effective immediately through Friday, September 20th

As of July 1, 2019, residents receive twelve (12) special bulk collections a year of up to 12 cubic yards for each household at no charge. Please place your items curbside no earlier than 24 hours before your regular refuse collection day but no later than 7 a.m. on the day of collection.

Residents who have storm debris questions or who would like to know how many bulk collections they have remaining can contact the Suffolk Public Works Refuse Division at 757-514-7630.

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UPDATE 9-6-18 - 3:15 p.m

HURRICANE DORIAN UPDATE: EMERGENCY SHELTER AND EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER CLOSING & STATUS OF WEEKEND SPECIAL EVENTS

The Emergency Shelter at King’s Fork High School and the Emergency Operations Center at the King’s Fork Public Safety Center (Suffolk Fire & Rescue Station 6) will be closing at 4:00 p.m. today, Friday. September 6, 2019.  Each had opened at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 5, 2019 to serve the community as a resource during Hurricane Dorian. 

A total of five citizens sought emergency shelter during this weather event. 

A Flash Flood Warning continues and motorists are again reminded to exercise extreme caution when driving in flood conditions, especially this evening when darkness falls and it may be more difficult to see areas of flooding.  Tidal flooding continues at the Kimberly Bridge area on North Main Street with a full closure anticipated at approximately 5:30 p.m.  If you see a flooded road ahead, turn around and find a different route to your destination.  Always obey barricades and signs that warn of road flooding.  Never go through puddles that are in contact with downed power lines. 

There are currently no road closures in the City of Suffolk, however, there is a power outage affecting the traffic signal at Suburban Drive and Portsmouth Boulevard.   

The 2019 Taste of Suffolk Street Festival scheduled for Saturday, September 7, 2019, will continue as scheduled from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.  The event will feature delicious culinary creations, wine and craft beer, all-day musical entertainment, merchants, a new vehicle exhibition and an array of children’s activities. Situated along North Main Street in the downtown historic district, Taste of Suffolk is free and open to the public. New for 2019 is the Taste of Suffolk “After Party.” Why let the fun stop at 5:00 p.m.?  The live music will continue in the Courthouse Fountain Park (adjacent to the Godwin Courts Building) until 7:30 p.m.  For more details, visit TasteofSuffolkVa.com.

Saturday’s Farmers’ Market at the Suffolk Visitor Center Pavilion is cancelled and the special activities scheduled will be postponed until Saturday, September 21st.

Should citizens experience any weather-related concerns, the Suffolk Police Department non-emergency number is 923-2350 (Option 8), and the number for non-emergency roadway-related issues is 514-7600.

Additional information, Media Releases, Safety Tips and more can be found on the City of Suffolk Website – www.suffolkva.us/dorian.   

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UPDATE 9-6-18 - 1:05 p.m.

HURRICANE DORIAN SUFFOLK TRANSIT ROUTE UPDATE

Suffolk Transit, also referred to by some as VRT, will cease operations effective at 1:30 p.m. today, Friday, September 6, 2019, for the Pink (North Suffolk connector to Downtown) and Purple (North Suffolk) Routes since Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) cancelled their operations today due to Hurricane Dorian.  The Pink Route connects with HRT at the Chesapeake Square Mall. 

All other Suffolk Transit services will continue as normal today and as scheduled for Saturday, September 7th

For questions, call 757-214-6442.

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UPDATE 9-6-18 - 11 a.m.

HURRICANE DORIAN UPDATE

Suffolk Police,  Suffolk Fire & Rescue and Public Works report minimal impact from Hurricane Dorian overnight and during the early morning hours. 

Crews have responded to several locations for downed trees or limbs, including Indian Trail at Ruritan Boulevard, 2400 block of E. Washington Street, Route 58 Eastbound just past the Weigh Scales, 2400 block Copeland Road, 4300 block Sleepy Hole Road, 800 block Longstreet Lane, and 1400 block of Wilroy Road.  The only road closed at this time is the 700 block of Kilby Avenue due to a low power line and Dominion Power has been notified.

While the Tropical and Storm Surge Warnings remain in effect, a Flash Flood Watch has also been issued.  The Emergency Shelter at King’s Fork High School remains open at this time. 

VRT remains operational. 

Tidal flooding has been experienced at North Main Street at the Kimberly Bridge and the entire roadway was closed earlier this morning, with the exterior lanes closed and then all lanes reopened.   We can expect a road closure again during high tide cycles at approximately 5:30 p.m. and during the early morning hours on Saturday. 

Motorists are reminded to exercise extreme caution when driving in flood  conditions, including:

If you see a flooded road ahead, turn around and find a different route to your destination. Rushing water over roads can quickly erode the surface, creating large holes and depressions. A puddle that appears only a couple inches deep can be much deeper.

Always obey barricades and signs that warn of road flooding. Even if the water looks shallow enough to cross, don't attempt it. Water can be much deeper than it appears and can hide major road hazards, such as washed out areas and holes in the road. Worse yet, rushing water could cause your vehicle to float and carry it away.

Never go through puddles that are in contact with downed power lines. The lines could send an electrical current through the water, causing a potentially fatal hazard.

If you have driven through a large puddle or standing water, check your brakes afterwards to make sure they're functioning properly. Do this by gently holding down the brake pedal to ensure that any moisture on the brake rotors or drums won't hinder your car's stopping ability.

If your car stalls or becomes surrounded by water, do not stay in it. Carefully exit your car, be aware of your surroundings and any hazards, and head toward higher ground.

The Emergency Operations Call Center can be reached at 514-4570 and will be staffed until advised otherwise for citizens seeking storm-related information for this weather event. The Suffolk Police Department non-emergency number is 923-2350 (Option 8), and the number for non-emergency roadway-related issues is 514-7600.

Additional information, Media Releases, Safety Tips and more can be found on the City of Suffolk Website – http://www.suffolkva.us/1381/Hurricane-Dorian-Updates

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UPDATE 9-5-19 - 3:55 p.m.

City Closings and Event Impacts due to Hurricane Dorian

Due to the projected impacts of Hurricane Dorian, Suffolk City Offices will be closed on Friday, September 6, 2019.  Additionally, all City facilities typically open after hours will close this evening, Thursday, September 5th, at 6:00 p.m.  All tours and scheduled special events scheduled for Friday, September 6th have been cancelled in advance of the storm’s arrival.  A determination has not been made regarding the Taste of Suffolk event scheduled for Saturday, September 7, 2019.

Suffolk Public Schools has previously announced they would close early today and remain closed for staff and students on Friday, September 6th.  As a result, all Suffolk Parks & Recreation before and after school programs, athletic practices and games are also cancelled.

Virginia Regional Transit (VRT) will remain operational tomorrow unless advised otherwise. Refuse collection for Friday, September 6th has been previously cancelled, and Friday’s collections will be made on Saturday, September 7th.

To report roadway issues, citizens can contact Public Works at 514-7600.

For afterhours/weekend requests for Emergency Public Utilities Services, call 757-514-7000.

Please note that extensive helpful emergency preparedness information and weather updates are available on the City’s website – http://www.suffolkva.us/1381/Hurricane-Dorian-Updates

The City of Suffolk uses Facebook (www.facebook.com/suffolkva), Twitter (www.twitter.com/CityofSuffolk), and Suffolk On the Alert (a free service with registration available at https://suffolk.onthealert.com) to notify our citizens and employees of any weather-related closings.

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UPDATE 9-5-19 - 3 p.m.

CITY OF SUFFOLK TO OPEN EMERGENCY SHELTER 

The City of Suffolk will be opening an Emergency Shelter this afternoon, Thursday, September 5, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. due to the potential impact of Hurricane Dorian:

  • King’s Fork High School, 351 Kings Fork Road (ADA compliant, fully generator powered for citizens who are medically dependent on electricity) 

Emergency shelters should be considered a means of last resort once all other safe options have been exhausted.

Based on current Hurricane Dorian forecasts, significant flooding is possible during high tides through at least Friday evening. The Commonwealth of Virginia previously enacted the “Know Your Zone” evacuation initiative which provides residents clarity on whether they should evacuate in an emergency or shelter at home. Information as to your designation based on your physical address can be obtained by visiting www.KnowYourZoneVA.org for a detailed, interactive, color-coded map showing each evacuation zone. If you don’t have access to a computer or internet service, call 2-1-1. If you live in Zone A, or if your location is prone to flooding based on previous weather incidents, you may want to consider moving vehicles to higher ground, protecting your belongings, and possibly identifying a higher location within Hampton Roads (Zone B or higher) or the identified Emergency Shelter to relocate to should the need arise.

Important information regarding Emergency Shelter rules, what to bring, prohibited items, and more are noted below:

Evacuation Shelter Rules

You must sign in before being officially admitted into any shelter

"Shelter hopping" is not permitted

You are responsible for your belongings. Valuables should always be locked in your car or kept with you. The shelter is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items

Parents are responsible for controlling the actions of and knowing the whereabouts of their children. Children should not be left unattended.

If you have a medical condition or are taking medications, please notify the shelter registrar for referral to the nurse.

Noise levels should be kept at a minimum during all hours of the day. Quiet hours are observed between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Please do your best to keep the shelter as neat and orderly possible.

What to Bring to a Shelter

Be sure to bring enough supplies to last at least two days for each family member.

bottled water

manual can opener and cooler

portable flashlight and batteries

folding chairs

cot/sleeping bag/blanket and pillow

first aid kit and any medications

ID, car keys, credit cards and cash

photocopies of important papers (i.e. insurance policies)

canned/packaged food

disposable plates, cups, utensils, etc.

battery powered radio, TV, headphones

change of comfortable clothing and shoes

quiet games, toys, books, cards

toiletries, glasses/contacts, hearing aids and dentures

special-diet foods

baby supplies (i.e. food/formula, diapers, etc.)

Prohibited Items

alcohol, drugs, other illegal substances

pets (except assistance dogs)

loud radios or televisions

smoking, vaping, matches, lighters

weapons of any kind (guns, knives, chains, etc.)

When to consider going to a shelter

You live in an evacuation zone where there likely will be flooding

You live in a mobile home or trailer

You know your building is unsafe and you cannot repair it before the storm

You use life-support equipment that requires electricity

If none of these conditions in red font above apply to you, you should think about staying put and fortifying your home, something experts call "sheltering in place." However, if your house is not prepared and fortified or windows or doors are not properly covered, even the weaker winds at the perimeter of a hurricane can cause serious damage.

Should citizens have questions as it relates to the Emergency Shelter or if they need to make accommodations for a pet since the King’s Fork High School Emergency Shelter is not pet-friendly, please contact the Suffolk Police Department non-emergency number at 923-2350, Option 8.  As a reminder, there are no pet drop-offs permitted at Emergency Shelters. 

We are continuing to closely monitor the storm track and potential local impacts. During weather or other emergencies affecting the City of Suffolk, residents have several methods to obtain and/or receive information related to road closures and other updates from the City and Emergency Management. Those methods include:

Suffolk On the Alert - https://suffolk.onthealert.com – Residents can sign up for alerts delivered primarily via email. Categories include Traffic Updates, Parks & Recreation, Public Utilities-water outages, Public Works-trash collection, and Special Events. Residents can select what topics are of interest to them for the latest information.

City social media -- Facebook (@suffolkva) and Twitter (@CityofSuffolk)

Suffolk Police Department social media – Facebook (@suffolkpolicedepartment)

Suffolk Fire & Rescue social media – Facebook (@suffolkfirerescue)

Nextdoor – The City of Suffolk, Suffolk Police, and Suffolk Fire & Rescue all have the ability to post messages to all Suffolk members of Nextdoor regardless of neighborhood.

City of Suffolk Website – http://www.suffolkva.us/1381/Hurricane-Dorian-Updates   

Suffolk Municipal Channel – Spectrum Channel 190. Information will be displayed on the Bulletin Board portion of programming. For those without Spectrum TV, the channel is streamed live 24/7 at this link: http://suffolkva.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?publish_id=2

The Emergency Operations Call Center can be reached beginning at 5:00 p.m. today, Thursday, September 5th, at 514-4570 and will be staffed 24-hours a day until advised otherwise for citizens seeking storm-related information for this weather event. The Suffolk Police Department non-emergency number is 923-2350 (Option 8), and the number for non-emergency roadway-related issues is 514-7600.

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UPDATE - 9-4-19 - 9:50 p.m.

CITY MANAGER DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY

City Manager Patrick Roberts declared a State of Emergency this evening, Wednesday, September 4, 2019, at 8:00 p.m. in advance of any potential impact from Hurricane Dorian.  

A State of Emergency declaration ensures that our City will have the appropriate level of assistance and allows us to coordinate with the Commonwealth our response and recovery efforts as it relates to any potential impacts from Hurricane Dorian.  
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UPDATE - 9-4-19 - 7:35 p.m.

SUFFOLK TROPICAL STORM AND STORM SURGE WATCHES UPGRADED TO WARNINGS

The National Weather Service in Wakefield has upgraded the City of Suffolk from Tropical Storm and Storm Surge Watches to Tropical Storm and Storm Surge Warnings.  

A Tropical Storm Warning means that conditions associated with a tropical storm are expected within a specified area, according to the National Hurricane Center. It’s more serious and urgent than a Tropical Storm Watch. A warning means that hazardous weather is imminent and is either already occurring or will occur at any moment.

A Storm Surge Warning is defined as the danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline somewhere within the specified area, generally within 36 hours, in association with a tropical, subtropical, or post-tropical cyclone.

The strongest wind is expected late Thursday night into Friday across Northeast North Carolina and Eastern Virginia.  This strong wind will have the ability to knock down trees and weak structures, and cause power outages.

Very dangerous marine conditions are expected.

Hurricane Dorian will produce heavy rainfall across far Southeast Virginia and Northeast North Carolina, with moderate impacts possible.  The current forecast shows rainfall amounts ranging from 4 to 6 inches over Southeast Virginia and Northeast North Carolina  These heavy rainfall amounts in a relative short period of time has the potential to produce flash flooding Thursday night through Friday afternoon.

Some minor to moderate river flooding is possible Friday and into the weekend, especially for smaller rivers and creeks.

Now is the time to complete all preparations in accordance with your emergency plan. The Suffolk Fire & Rescue Office of Emergency Management is closely monitoring the storm track and potential local impacts.  We will continue to keep residents informed as it relates to potential openings of Emergency Shelters.  Additional information can be found on our website at https://www.suffolkva.us/1029/Disaster-Preparedness 

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UPDATE - 9-4-19 - 7:27 p.m.

THURSDAY AFTER SCHOOL CARE CANCELLED

Suffolk Public Schools earlier announced that they would be dismissing early on Thursday, September 5th, due to the potential impact of the current Tropical Storm and Storm Surge Warnings in effect in our area.  As such, After School Care and Programs at Suffolk Parks & Recreation Joint Use Facilities will also be cancelled.  

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UPDATE 9-4-19 - 4:05 p.m.

CITY OF SUFFOLK UNDER TROPICAL STORM AND STORM SURGE WATCH

The City of Suffolk is currently under a Tropical Storm and Storm Surge Watch until further notice as issued by the National Weather Service in Wakefield.  

Virginia emergency officials and local Emergency Managers have looked at the latest meteorological data and updates from the National Hurricane Center on Hurricane Dorian this morning. In consideration of this information and the timing of the storm, no widespread evacuation order is expected for this storm in Coastal Virginia.

Citizens and businesses in Suffolk should still expect high winds, heavy rains and potential flooding in low lying areas Thursday night and Friday.  Peak winds are forecast to be from 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 55 mph.  Surge flooding is possible with peak rainfall amounts of 3 to 6 inches, with locally higher amounts possible.  

Residents are reminded to take the necessary precautions, including securing outside objects, and putting together an emergency prep kit to include:
•    Batteries and flashlights in the event of power outages
•    Cash – power outages could affect ATM machines
•    Water (1 gallon, per person, per day)
•    Non-perishable food
•    First Aid Kit
•    Prescriptions

During weather or other emergencies affecting the City of Suffolk, residents have several methods to obtain and/or receive information related to road closures and other updates from the City and Emergency Management. Those methods include:

Suffolk On the Alert - https://suffolk.onthealert.com – Residents can sign up for alerts delivered primarily via email. Categories include Traffic Updates, Parks & Recreation, Public Utilities-water outages, Public Works-trash collection, and Special Events.  Residents can select what topics are of interest to them for the latest information.

City social media -- Facebook (@suffolkva) and Twitter (@CityofSuffolk)

Suffolk Police Department social media – Facebook (@suffolkpolicedepartment)

Suffolk Fire & Rescue social media – Facebook (@suffolkfirerescue)

Nextdoor – The City of Suffolk, Suffolk Police, and Suffolk Fire & Rescue all have the ability to post messages to all Suffolk members of Nextdoor regardless of neighborhood.

City of Suffolk Website – During an emergency, an alert link will be up at the top of the homepage and every page on the site. Additionally, under City Spotlights, information from news releases from the City will be posted and updated.

Suffolk Municipal Channel – Spectrum Channel 190. Information will be displayed on the Bulletin Board portion of programming. For those without Spectrum TV, the channel is streamed live 24/7 at this link: http://suffolkva.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?publish_id=2 

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UPDATE 9-4-19 - 3:05 p.m.

FRIDAY REFUSE COLLECTION CANCELLED

Suffolk Public Works and TFC Recycling have cancelled refuse collections for Friday, September 6, 2019, due to the current Tropical Storm Watch and Storm Surge Watch issued by the National Weather Service in Wakefield which is in effect in our City until further notice.

These precautions are being taken so citizens can have advance notice not to place their refuse containers curbside Thursday evening or Friday morning to avoid potential damage with blowing containers and debris.  

Service that was previously scheduled for Friday will be picked up on Saturday, September 7th.  As a reminder, trash must be placed at curbside no later than 7 a.m. on the day of collection.

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9-2-19 - 3:35 p.m.

TAKE STEPS NOW TO MAKE EMERGENCY PLANS RELATED TO HURRICANE DORIAN

The Suffolk Fire & Rescue Office of Emergency Management would like to remind all residents to take the appropriate steps as it relates to emergency preparedness due to the threat of Hurricane Dorian and its potential impact.  

Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency in Virginia at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, September 2, 2019.  The Virginia Department of Emergency Management advises that there is increasing confidence that southeast Virginia will see direct impacts as early as Thursday with impacts most likely later Thursday through Friday.  There is a potential for major coastal flooding, three feet or greater; the wind field will expand significantly as the storm moves north; gust of 60 mph, or higher, can be expected along the coast; rainfall in some areas could meet or exceed 7 inches of rain; there is a flash flood threat Thursday night and Friday.  They further stress that citizens shouldn’t focus on the track alone, as impacts will occur well away from the center of the storm.  

No evacuation has been ordered, but officials recommend that residents, especially those in coastal evacuation Zone A, located in the Southside region of Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore, stay alert to the latest forecast from the National Weather Service in Wakefield and continue to prepare their homes, businesses and family members in the event an evacuation were to be ordered based on the latest storm track, storm surge and tidal flooding modeling.  

The Commonwealth of Virginia previously enacted the “Know Your Zone” evacuation initiative which provides residents clarity on whether they should evacuate in an emergency or shelter at home.  Information as to your designation based on your physical address can be obtained by visiting www.KnowYourZoneVA.org for a detailed, interactive, color-coded map showing each evacuation zone. If you don’t have access to a computer or internet service, call 2-1-1.  

City Manager Patrick Roberts met with Department Heads, Public Safety and Suffolk Public School officials this afternoon related to local emergency measures in order to ensure the safety of our citizens and the group will continue to closely monitor the weather event and take any necessary actions moving forward.  

Whether related to Hurricane Dorian or other potential severe weather events during hurricane season, now is the time for our citizens to prepare—Make a Kit, Get and Plan, and Stay Informed. To learn more, visit www.VAEmergency.gov/hurricanes.

While we are currently experiencing “blue skies”, the time to act is now as it relates to making sure you have your emergency kit prepared with sufficient supplies including food and water for each family member for at least five days; your vehicles are fueled and ready; secure loose, lightweight objects such as patio furniture, bicycles, and other items or bring these inside, and anchor items that would be unsafe if brought inside (gas grills, propane tanks, etc.); to trim or remove damaged trees and limbs close enough to fall on structures, and to secure loose gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.

We are closely monitoring the storm track and potential local impacts.  During weather or other emergencies affecting the City of Suffolk, residents have several methods to obtain and/or receive information related to road closures and other updates from the City and Emergency Management. Those methods include:

Suffolk On the Alert - https://suffolk.onthealert.com – Residents can sign up for alerts delivered primarily via email. Categories include Traffic Updates, Parks & Recreation, Public Utilities-water outages, Public Works-trash collection, and Special Events.  Residents can select what topics are of interest to them for the latest information.

City social media -- Facebook (@suffolkva) and Twitter (@CityofSuffolk)

Suffolk Police Department social media – Facebook (@suffolkpolicedepartment)

Suffolk Fire & Rescue social media – Facebook (@suffolkfirerescue)

Nextdoor – The City of Suffolk, Suffolk Police, and Suffolk Fire & Rescue all have the ability to post messages to all Suffolk members of Nextdoor regardless of neighborhood.

City of Suffolk Website – During an emergency, an alert link will be up at the top of the homepage and every page on the site. Additionally, under City Spotlights, information from news releases from the City will be posted and updated.

Suffolk Municipal Channel – Spectrum Channel 190. Information will be displayed on the Bulletin Board portion of programming. For those without Spectrum TV, the channel is streamed live 24/7 at this link: http://suffolkva.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?publish_id=2