The City of Williamsburg is preparing for tropical storm conditions predicted to move into the area later today, Friday, Sept. 22, 2023.
The Streets Division is clearing drains and ditches; Public Works is ensuring generator and fuel preparedness; Public Safety is increasing staffing to prepare for storm impacts; and the City’s Emergency Operations Center is being prepared in case of activation.
All residents are encouraged to monitor weather forecasts and be prepared for changing weather conditions.
As of 9 a.m. Friday, the City of Williamsburg can expect wind gusts upward of 40 mph starting around 4 p.m. today through Saturday. The forecast also shows that up to 4 in. of rain is expected between now and 8 p.m. Sunday.
“The City of Williamsburg is taking this storm seriously,” Fire Chief Larry W. Snyder Jr. said. “We remain in contact with the National Weather Service so that we can make informed decisions on how best to prepare and manage the impacts of the storm.”
In preparation for the storm, residents are encouraged to:
- Replenish emergency kits and review family emergency plans.
- Secure any objects that might be blown around by increased winds.
- Keep cell phones, power packs, and other devices charged.
- Clear debris from storm drains and clean gutters.
- Put trash cans indoors.
- Prune dead tree branches.
- Prepare for power outages with a flashlight, first-aid kit, spare batteries, and three-days’ supply of food and water.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management encourages residents to follow these safety tips when using a portable generator:
- Generators should be used in well-ventilated locations outside at least 20 feet away from all doors, windows, and vent openings. Measure the 20-foot distance from the generator exhaust system to the building.
- Never use a generator in an attached garage, even with the door open.
- Place generators so that exhaust fumes can’t enter the home through windows, doors, or other openings in the building. The exhaust must be directed away from the building.
- Make sure to install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for correct placement and mounting height.
- Turn off generators and let them cool down before refueling. Never refuel a generator while it is hot.
For updates, sign up for the City’s News Flash at williamsburgva.gov/news. For emergency alerts, register at williamsburgva.gov/alerts. You can also follow the City of Williamsburg on social media: Facebook, X, Instagram.