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Richmond to active emergency operation center ahead of Isaias

Posted at 5:47 PM, Aug 03, 2020

RICHMOND, Va. -- Mayor Levar Stoney organized Richmond’s emergency response team to update on the city’s efforts to prepare ahead of Tropical Storm Isaias.

Stoney urged families to use common sense as the storm is forceasted to dump two to four inches of rainfall on Tuesday.

“The City of Richmond is prepared,” he said at City Council chambers on Monday afternoon. “We ask that you continue to be smart and exercise cautions.”

Public Utilities Director Calvin Farr said crews have worked since Friday to clear storm drains. He cited Shockoe Bottom and neighborhoods south of the river that could see the most flooding.

“We are keeping a close eye on those river gauges and river levels to activate the flood wall,” Farr explained. “In regards to power outages we have back up generators. We are fully ready to continue to provide 24/7 utility services.”

CBS 6 spoke to Governor Ralph Northam ahead of the storm that he described as “a challenge.” Northam has issued a State of Emergency for the Commonwealth.

“We hope this storm will move through quickly and move on, but we are prepared and going to take care of all Virginians as we see our way through this,” Northam said. “We don’t anticipate having anyone evacuate especially from Hampton Roads, but if there are areas where individuals need to go to shelter we obviously need to keep in mind to wear facial protection on, keep our distancing. We’ve made modifications preparing Virginia for these hurricanes in the midst of the pandemic.”

Stoney said the city’s Emergency Response Operation Center will be partially activated Monday evening. There they will social distance and wear face masks following the CDC guidelines.

“We feel strong we are ready to deal with this event,” said Anthony McLean, RichmondReady Director.

Stoney urged Richmonders to check on their neighbors.

“In a time like this don’t forget to check on your neighbors, as well. What’s gotten us through this pandemic in the last few months is neighbors taking care of neighbors,” Stoney stated.

“If you know of an elderly or senior family or individual in your neighborhood who may a little help right now put your mask on, and go by and knock on the door and check in on the individual.”

Fire Chief Melvin Carter suggested that families who live in mobile homes to consider moving to higher ground.

Anyone who may need shelter or knows someone who needs a safe place to ride out the storm, you’re encouraged to call the Homeless Crisis Hotline at 804-972-0813.