We concluded another conference briefing with NWS and VDEM. Trends are moving in our favor, but not as much or as quickly as we would like. Instead of 6.9’ of tidal flooding, we may see 6.5’. Major flooding either way. Moreover, Tuesday’s high tides should not be overlooked.
The Hourly Graph shows wind gusts around 45mph are still possible, so while we are cautiously optimistic that doesn’t materialize; we will not relax our readiness posture.
Finally, we have received inquiries as to why the city does not place barriers on flooded roads. Here are the reasons:
- There are too many roads that flood in Norfolk.
- We don’t have enough resources to block all flooded roads.
- We don’t have the staff to deploy, monitor, and/or retrieve barriers as the water comes in and then recedes. This quickly turns into a safety issue preventing emergency vehicles from responding to a call.
- In the past, people had disregarded and driven around barriers.
- We do have signage on several roads and underpasses, but they have been there for so long that they may be “hiding” in plain sight.
- We are committed to investing in technology (WEA and Norfolk Alert) and crowdsourcing tools (WAZE app, etc.). which keep people informed of roads impacted by flooding. Folks can benefit from these tools and also have the opportunity to contribute to the information for the mutual benefit of their fellow travelers as well as the EOC.
- Finally, and most fundamentally, we continue to message that if you see flood waters, regardless of whether there is a barrier, sign, sensor, or nothing at all – don’t drive in it - turn around.
Please continue to send any questions, reports, requests, and pics to EOC-Plans@norfolk.gov
Director, Emergency Preparedness and Response