VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — State and area city leaders are working to stay ahead of the storm system this weekend.
Virginia and North Carolina are under a state of emergency. On Thursday, Public Works crews in Virginia Beach stayed busy clearing debris around the city.
“We are a coastal city,” said Virginia Beach Public Works spokesman Drew Lankford. “It is really vital we stay on top of this.”
Lankford said that 52 weeks a year, his crews clear drainage ditches and check pumps around the city. On Thursday, he said they doubled down on those tasks ahead of the storm system.
“We have been going into the areas usually prone to flooding: Oceanfront, Hilltop, Stumpy Lake, Windsor Woods,” Lankford said.
Sand berms along the beach are also now in place to keep beach accessways clear.
Now, city officials across the Commonwealth can tap into state resources after Governor Glenn Youngkin declared a state of emergency for this storm.
“We are kind of paying attention to the whole state,” said Virginia Department of Emergency Management Spokesman Jason Elmore, who added the declaration allows emergency crews to get ahead of the weather.
“It allows us to go ahead and start deploying resources that localities are requesting prior to the event,” Elmore said. “As opposed to being reactive, it allows us to be proactive.”
He said city leaders can request help from the National Guard, get shelter supplies and funding if needed.
For now, Lankford said Virginia Beach Public Works leaders aren’t calling in additional crews for the weekend.
“Based on the information we have, we have just increased what we are doing throughout the city,” Lankford said.
Throughout the weekend, Virginia Department of Emergency Management officials said they are keeping their emergency operations center fully staffed.
Governor Youngkin’s emergency declaration also puts a spotlight on price gauging. State officials said they are going to keep a close eye on prices across the state to make sure all residents and business owners have the resources they need.