CAPE CHARLES, Va. - The National Weather Service has put the Eastern Shore under a blizzard warning ahead of this weekend's snow storm.
Both Accomack and Northampton Counties are expected to see heavy snow and high winds during the storm.
Late morning update (as of 10:50 AM Friday). #Blizzard Warnings have been expanded west over the Eastern Shore and now include Wicomico and Somerset counties. Expect snow to begin late today/early tonight and continue into Saturday. Keep up to date with the latest updates. pic.twitter.com/l4zUu3jikt— NWS Wakefield (@NWSWakefieldVA) January 28, 2022
Ahead of the storm, the Virginia National Guard is staging about 15 airmen to the area. Personnel will have heavy duty vehicles and chain saws to help deal with any debris.
Additional crews will be on duty in Richmond to provide support and logistics, VNG said in a news release.
Ahead of the storm, Gov. Youngkin declared a State of Emergency.
“The key message for all Virginians is to stay aware of the weather conditions and to stay off the roads if possible,” Youngkin said. “We have already started planning and mobilizing resources needed to protect the Commonwealth. We are very concerned with the forecasted impacts to our Eastern Shore region and have started pre-positioning resources to ensure a timely response to that area. The most important thing everyone can do to minimize the risks is to prepare yourself and your family.
Northampton Lumber Company was busy Friday with people coming to buy supplies, like shovels, for the storm. "We don't get too many [blizzards] around here, so we'll see what happens," said Josh Lattimore, the owner of the store. "I know people are probably taking this one a little more seriously and hunkering down."
With high winds being a concern, power outrages could be an issue. "We're taking this storm very seriously," said Jay Diem with A&N Electric Cooperative, who says crews will be working to keep the power on during the storm, but if there are high winds there are restrictions in tending to downed power lines.
"We'll send the crews to restore the power when it goes out as quickly and safely as we can," said Diem.
Officials are also encouraging people to stay off the roads during the storm. If drivers get stuck, they could block crews from being able to reach destinations to restore power.
"The part about the blizzard warning that's the most concerning is hopefully residents will stay off the roads," said Diem.