State of emergency declared in Virginia ahead of possible impacts from Tropical Depression Ida

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Posted at 2:51 PM, Aug 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 14:54:00-04

A state of emergency has been declared in Virginia ahead of possible impacts from Tropical Depression Ida.

Governor Northam declared the state of emergency on Tuesday to respond to impacts from Ida, which is expected to cause heavy rains and flooding along the I-81 and I-66 corridors of western Virginia.

The announcement from Northam's office said localities in the southwest region have already experienced heavy rainfall in recent days, leading to flash floods and complicating storm preparation efforts. In addition to the flood threat, there is also a risk of tornadoes across Virginia late Tuesday night through Wednesday.

The remnants of Ida will impact the our eastern region on Wednesday. Showers and thunderstorms associated with this system could produce some instances of flash flooding. Scattered severe storms will also be possible. The Storm Prediction Center has the entire area under a level 2 for severe storms. The biggest threat will be damaging wind gusts and spin-up tornadoes. Highs will warm to near 90.

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Severe weather began hitting parts of the Southwest region on Monday, August 30, and is expected to continue as remnants from Tropical Depression Ida arrive in the Commonwealth. Heavy rainfall has already caused flash flooding in Buchanan County, with potential for additional flooding, downed trees, electrical outages, and impacts to roads, bridges, and other infrastructure. Impacts are expected to be felt particularly along the I-81 and I-66 corridors.

The announcement said a state of emergency allows the Commonwealth to mobilize resources and to deploy people and equipment to assist in response and recovery efforts. The declaration also allows officials from Virginia to coordinate planning and evacuation resources with our state and local partners. This action does not apply to individuals or private businesses.

“My thoughts are with those across the country impacted by this devastating storm,” said Governor Northam. “While we’re fortunate in Virginia to have avoided the hurricane itself, heavy rainfall is expected to cause additional flash flooding and dangerous conditions in portions of the Commonwealth. I’m grateful to the first responders and rescue crews currently on the ground, and I urge Virginians in these regions to stay alert.”

Related: Death toll from Ida rises to 4, New Orleans urges evacuees not to return until further notice