Virginia Beach Public Works crews clear out drains, check pump stations ahead of Elsa's arrival

Virginia Beach Public Works Elsa prep (July 7).PNG
Posted at 3:58 PM, Jul 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 16:44:07-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - With Elsa being the first potentially major storm to hit our area this season, some homeowners and also city employees are out prepping and doing their part to lessen any impacts.

We checked in with crews in Virginia Beach Wednesday afternoon, and they say the Sandbridge Road area is one Public Works is keeping a close eye on.

There’s a pump station at one of the entrances to the Asheville Park neighborhood, and the department says they will be checking this area closely Thursday.

And while it’s hot and sunny, we caught up with crews near the Oceanfront as they were making some extra preps in advance of the storm.

A bright, colorful mural at the Oceanfront may soon contrast the heavy rains and strong winds that Elsa could bring to our area. That warm breeze is helping the painting dry ahead of any severe weather.

Artists from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore hope they can get three murals painted before the storm.

“But we’re just going to keep going as fast as we can - work late into the night and hopefully we can get some done in the next few days, even if it’s raining a bit,” said artist Hannah Moran.

Meanwhile, just a few blocks away, Public Works crews are doing what they can in advance of the nasty weather. Workers are using a vacuum truck to clear out drains and pump stations.

“Run a huge hose down there, cut it on. Coke cans, cigarette butts - it sucks everything, and they take it away and dispose of it,” explained Drew Lankford with Virginia Beach Public Works.

And while they’re hitting the usual trouble spots across the city, crews say it’s too much to do at the last minute, so they maintain year-round.

“’Oh, there’s a hurricane coming Friday; we better get busy,’” Lankford said hypothetically. “It wouldn’t happen.”

They are keeping a close eye on the Southside near Sandbridge Road and the Back Bay area.

“We might not get any rain, but if the wind comes out of the south, we’re going to have flooding on the southern end because they get flooding without any rain.”

There’s still time to get out and check your yard. Secure any furniture and pick up any toys or decorations that could become hazards in high winds.

It’s also a good idea to check the curb and the gutter to make sure they’re not blocked with any debris.

Click here for more hurricane resources.