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With hurricane season ahead, officials urge Virginians to prepare

Otterdale Road flooding.png
Posted at 4:46 PM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 18:21:53-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The floodwall on Dock Street sits dormant on Tuesday afternoon, a far cry last fall when the city shut the massive gates for the first time in decades last November.

While the threat of heavy rains last November forced the wall to close, now crews will test the strength of it and others in the city during the start of the Atlantic Hurricane season.

Experts are predicting an above-average number of storms like last year which brought the likes of Hurricane Isaias to Central Virginia. As result, emergency officials are encouraging Virginians to start preparing for storms now.

Families say it was never going to hit us and then it did and then we found ourselves scrambling," Jonathan McNamara, the Communications Director for Red Cross of Virginia, said.

McNamara says families should put together an emergency preparedness kit that includes standards like food, water and medications tailored to their specific needs.

"If you've got young kids, if you've got pets, your plan is going to look different than somebody who doesn't have those," McNamara said.

As the pandemic is ongoing and with not everyone vaccinated, officials say include masks and hand sanitizer as well.
McNamara says people should also include copies of important documents like deeds and insurance.

"Because that's going to help you navigate through that process after a storm does impact your family," McNamara said.

Katha Treanor with the State Corporation Commission said that people should review their current policies and consider if they need flood insurance if not.

"Even one inch of water can cause as much as $25,000 worth of damage to your property," Treanor said.

Treanor said that while it's typically not covered, people can get it through some private insurers or the National Flood Insurance Program.

"Remember, there's a 30-day waiting period for a flood insurance policy to take effect. So, the time to get things is now," Treanor said.

Treanor adds that everyone should take an inventory of what they own in case they need to make a claim in the future.

"Go room by room in your house and take notes, take pictures, videos, serial numbers," Treanor said.