As Hurricane Dorian wreaked havoc on the Carolina coasts on Thursday, Virginia Beach has ordered mandatory evacuations of Sandbridge and voluntary evacuations of Zone A communities.
Sandbridge, which has slightly more than 400 residents, is a narrow stretch of land that separates two bodies of water: the Atlantic Ocean and the Back Bay. The city announced that the mandatory evacuation will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday.
Virginia Beach announced voluntary evacuations of Zone A, which includes other coastal communities. Individuals can find out their evacuation zones by typing an address into a search box on www.knowyourzoneva.org or dialing 2-1-1.
Two emergency shelters will begin operating at 6 p.m. on Thursday: Kellam High School at 2665 West Neck Road and Edward E. Brickell Academy for Advanced Academics and Arts at 4639 Honeygrove Road. The high school will permit pets to be sheltered, but pets are not allowed at the academy, except for assistance dogs. The Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center at 341 S. Birdneck Road will also help with sheltering pets.
All Virginia Beach city offices, city facilities, courts offices and clerks offices will be closed on Friday, Sept. 6. Schools in Virginia Beach and some nearby communities, including Norfolk public schools. Old Dominion University and Norfolk State University canceled all classes this Friday.
Dorian is currently a Category 2 hurricane. It left about two dozen people dead in the Bahamas and caused power outages, flooding and wind damage throughout the southeast United States along the coast.
More than 250,000 were without power, most in South Carolina but thousands also in North Carolina and Georgia.
Virgina Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency in Virginia earlier this week and updated the state’s emergency plans for dealing with natural disasters.
“Hurricane Dorian is a serious storm, and current predictions indicate that it may affect parts of Virginia,” Northam said in a news release. “I am declaring a state of emergency to ensure that localities and communities have the appropriate level of assistance, and to coordinate the Commonwealth’s response to any potential impacts from Hurricane Dorian. I encourage Virginians to take all necessary precautions to make sure they are prepared as well.”