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Storm ready: Newport News emergency crews prepare for impacts of Tropical Storm Ian

City officials are tracking the storm as it nears Hampton Roads.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Gusty winds and heavy rain are what Newport News officials expect to see over the next few days.

“This is going to be a long-haul nor’easter type event,” said Justin Weston, the emergency operations coordinator for the city’s Division of Emergency Management.

He said he has spoken with leaders from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and is receiving updates on Tropical Storm Ian’s impact on the Peninsula. One concern is flooding across the region.

“The big thing that we kind of have to just monitor is those tide cycles and they're going to build up on each other in the bay. And those are going to last a few days,” Weston said.

Throughout the week, public works crews cleaned up storm water drains, along with other preps ahead of the storm. Crews were even seen around the city Thursday morning.

“They’re doing their internal protocols that they have set up,” he said.

Weston said crews have a close eye on areas along the water known to flood.

“Lower-lying areas that have some of the tributaries down near Mercury, near the city line of Newport News and Hampton,” he said.

Though, the challenge with any storm is its unpredictability. 

Weston says crews have a plan to respond to whatever comes our way, big or small. He advises you to have one too, should floodwaters get too high in your area.

Leaders with emergency management are also checking in with their response crews to make sure they have all the resources they need before Ian reaches Hampton Roads.

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