VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Officials in Virginia Beach are getting ready for Hurricane Florence.
At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, officials said the city is preparing for the worst.
They said if people are planning to leave, they should leave now and encourage people to head north if that is their plan.
People living in Zone A have already been asked to evacuate.
Stores around the region are packed with people stocking up on supplies and trying to create a plan for their own home.
The first shelter in Virginia Beach is scheduled to open Wednesday at Kellum High School at 6 p.m.
You can even call 311 and have a school bus come pick you up if needed.
The mayor has a message to his residents.
"The truth is, people should be prepared. They should have food, they should have water, they should be sure that their pets are safe so that they don’t have to worry about that in the event that an emergency does occur," said Virginia Beach Mayor Louis R. Jones.
City Manager Dave Hansen declared a a local state of emergency and the Emergency Operations Center has been activated. On Tuesday, officials issued the information below:
For people in Zone A who need shelter arrangements for pets, the Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center at 341 S. Birdneck Road will assist with boarding pets.
The city delivered sand Tuesday to the back gravel parking lot of the Virginia Beach Sportsplex at 2044 Landstown Centre Way, where Virginia Beach residents may go and fill their own bags.
Trash collections will continue as normal through Wednesday. The city is suspending bulky item collections for Thursday, Sept. 13 and Friday, Sept. 14. A decision regarding all collections is pending.
- Effective Tuesday, Sept. 11, the TCC/City of Virginia Beach Joint- Use Library is closed because all TCC campuses are closed
- The Virginia Beach General District Court, Circuit Court, Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, and their clerk's offices will be closed Wednesday, Sept. 12 through Friday, Sept. 14.
- All Virginia Beach Public Library programs and meeting room reservations are canceled from Thursday, Sept. 13 through Sunday, Sept. 16.
- The Bank On class on Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Oceanfront Library has been canceled.
- The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium is closed for the duration of the storm. They plan to reopen once the weather is clear and the courses are readied.
Off-Street Parking Available
From noon on Wednesday, Sept. 12 through noon on Monday, Sept. 17, depending upon weather conditions, Virginia Beach citizens may park their vehicles for free at the municipal garages at 9th and 30th streets in the resort area. Exit time will be Monday at noon or charges will begin. Based on weather conditions, the city may extend the exit date and times. Oceanfront parking is limited to 9th and 30th street garages only.
Citizens may also park their vehicles at municipal garages at the Town Center of Virginia Beach. No parking is available in the 24-hour reserved spaces at the Town Center garages. These spaces are leased by residents, and towing will be enforced.
Anyone parking in the garages must take precaution that the power in garages may be out causing the lighting and elevators to be inoperable.
Kellam High School, 2665 W. Neck Road, will open at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 12 for people who want to relocate in advance of the storm.
Emergency shelters will open at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13 at the following locations in Virginia Beach:
- Corporate Landing Middle School, 1597 Corporate Landing Parkway
- Old Donation School, 4633 Honeygrove Road
- Field House (medically friendly shelter), 2020 Landstown Centre Way
The following shelters will be opened on Friday, Sept. 14 if necessary:
- Landstown High School, 2001 Concert Drive
- Green Run High School, 1700 Dahlia Drive
- Tallwood High School, 1668 Kempsville Road
Individuals who plan on relocating to a shelter should bring enough supplies to last at least three days for each family member. Click here for rules, a list of what supplies to bring and items that are prohibited in shelters.
The following items are prohibited inside the shelter: smoking, alcohol, drugs, other illegal substances, pets (except assistance dogs), loud radios or televisions, matches, lighters and weapons of any kind (guns, knives, chains, etc.).
Contact Dominion Energy to report power outages at (866) 366-4357.
Do not operate portable generators, grills (gas or charcoal) inside your home or garage. Treat all downed power lines as live.
If You Want to Help
The city has already received numerous calls from residents wanting to volunteer in preparation of Hurricane Florence. Life safety is the No. 1 concern right now. At this time, we are encouraging people to first review their plan and supplies and to check on their neighbors to ensure they are prepared as well. Following the storm, we will communicate unmet needs and ways people can help.
People wanting to donate funds can visit the Virginia Beach Hurricane Fund, which is administered by the United Way of South Hampton Roads.
Get the 4-1-1
For the most up-to-date information, stay tuned to local television and radio stations and the outlets listed below:
- VBTV: Cox Cable 46, 47 & 48 and Verizon Cable 45, 46 & 47 will display emergency information, including our city operational status and facility closures.
- Social Media Sites:
- Citizen Services: 311 is available 24 hours a day for questions and reporting non-emergency conditions. Please only call or text 911 in a life-threatening emergency.