NORTH CAROLINA, USA — Localities in North Carolina and Virginia have begun opening shelters for residents fleeing as Hurricane Dorian approaches the Carolinas.

Here's a break down of the shelters:

North Carolina 

Chowan County: Emergency Operations Center has designated two shelters to be opened at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5.

The shelters are located at: John A. Holmes High School, 600 Woodard Street, Edenton, N.C. and Chowan Middle School (Pet-Friendly), 2845 Virginia Road, Tyner, N.C.

Residents who anticipate evacuating to a shelter should gather their personal items to include bedding, medication, comfort and personal hygiene items; infant supplies such as formula, bottles, disposable diapers and pacifiers; and important personal documents. Items that will not be allowed at the shelters include pets, alcoholic beverages and weapons of any type.


Chowan Middle School has been designated as a pet-friendly shelter. Those seeking shelter at this location will be able to bring their pets; however, the pets will be not be allowed to roam freely throughout the school. There will be a designated location where the pets will be housed. Please note the following items are a requirement to house pets at the pet shelter.

The following will be required in order to bring your pets. Residents will be responsible for the care of their animals such as feeding and walking them. The resident MUST be at the emergency people shelter.

  • Certification of current rabies shot
  • Kennel for animal
  • Food & water for animal
  • Leash
  • NO vicious animals will be accepted at the emergency pet shelter

Gates County: Gates County Emergency Operations Center has announced the opening of a shelter at Gates County High School at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5.

The shelter is at 88 US Hwy 158, Gatesville, N.C.


Gates County High School is designated as a pet-friendly shelter. Those seeking shelter at this location will be able to bring their pets; however, you will not get to stay with your pet. There will be a designated location where the pets will be housed. If bringing a pet you are responsible for providing shot records, food, bedding and a kennel.  No animals will be allowed unless kenneled.  

Perquimans County: A General Population Shelter will open at 5 p.m. Thursday at Perquimans County High School, located at 305 South Edenton Road Street.

No pets will be allowed at this shelter.

Residents are reminded to bring the following items with them to the shelter: 

  • Food/drinks
  • Medications
  • Clothing
  • Important documents and phone numbers
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Bedding
  • Comfort items
  • Batteries and flashlights


Chesapeake: City of Chesapeake shelters will open at 8 p.m. on Thursday.

Shelters will be located at:

  • Oscar Smith High School, (1994 Tiger Drive) - For the general population.
  • Western Branch Middle School (4201 Hawksley Drive) - For the general population.
  • Greenbrier Middle School, (1016 Greenbrier Pkwy) - For those with medical needs.
  • Chesapeake Animal Services, (2100 Military Hwy) - Pets only.  

Residents who decide to come to a shelter need to understand that conditions are extremely basic and access to electrical power (other than lighting) is limited or may not be available at all. Residents should bring adequate food, water, medical supplies, bedding, flashlights, batteries and comfort items for each member of their family for a stay of at least 24 hours. If you have medical needs – medication, equipment, etc. – you must bring these with you to the shelter. Limited power is available for connection of medical equipment. Care assistance for those needing help must also be provided by the individual coming to the shelter.

The medical needs shelter at Greenbrier Middle School, 1016 Greenbrier Pkwy, is for residents who are oxygen-dependent or who need electricity for medical equipment.  This shelter is intended for those whose medical needs cannot safely be met at home during the storm. The shelter does not take the place of a hospital and is intended only for those whose conditions are stable. A primary caregiver should accompany each individual to the shelter to provide support. Those coming to the shelter should bring durable medical equipment, oxygen tanks, medication and supplies, personal care items, special foods, and vital documents. Service animals only are permitted. They must also bring their own bedding and comfort items.

The pet shelter at Chesapeake Animal Services, 2100 S. Military Hwy., is for domestic animals only, with the exception of snakes which are not permitted. Owners should bring food, a towel, any medications, and their animal’s crate/cage, if possible. Loaner crates are available as supplies permit. Birds and pocket pets MUST be in their own cages. Pet owners cannot stay with their pets but must stay within the City of Chesapeake. Pets can be picked up as early as conditions allow or as long as the shelter remains open.

Residents with questions or concerns should call 757-382-CITY (2489).

Hampton: City Manager Mary Bunting strongly encouraged Hampton residents who live in the low-lying Zone A to consider evacuating to higher ground, as flooding is expected to occur.

RELATED: Know Your Zone: Virginia's Hurricane and Storm Evacuation System

The City of Hampton will open two adjacent shelters at 5 p.m. Thursday. People should go to Phenix School at 1061 Big Bethel Rd., which will be equipped to handle those with medical needs. People with pets should go to nearby Bethel High School. People evacuating to shelters should bring bedding, toys for children, medicine and any special food items. Do not bring weapons or alcohol.  

Predictions are highly depended on the storm path, although residents are urged to not focus on the eye of the storm. The storm, which strengthened to Category 3 overnight, is very large, with hurricane-force winds as far as 60 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extending up to 195 miles.. 

Hampton could begin to feel the effects from Hurricane Dorian as soon as Thursday afternoon, with more serious impact overnight and through Friday. Current rainfall projections for Hampton are in the 3- to 6-inch range. Winds are expected to be strongest early Friday, potentially sustained around 35 mph with gusts to 50 mph. Winds at that speed can snap or uproot trees, send debris flying and cause power outages. 

Moderate to major flooding will likely occur around Friday’s high tide of 4 p.m. Predictions are for a level of nearly 7 feet, which is about the level of flooding during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. High tides before and after may cause minor flooding as well: Friday at 3:24 a.m. Saturday at 4:27 a.m. and potentially Saturday at 5 p.m.

The amount and timing of rainfall can also influence flooding.

Residents who need to leave a car on high ground can use the city's only parking garage, located at 555 Settlers Landing Road downtown. 

Hampton City Schools will cancel extracurricular activities Thursday afternoon, but the city's after-school child care will operate. Schools will be closed Friday., and there will be no Friday athletic or extracurricular events. Thomas Nelson Community College has canceled Friday classes. Langley Air Force Base will close today at 5 p.m., with essential personnel only through Friday. 

Hampton will suspend trash collection on Friday. Residents should not put their cans, bulk trash or yard debris at the curb. In heavy wind and rain, trash cans can blow open or over, spilling contents, and bulk waste can block storm drains, making any flooding worse. Trash collection for Friday’s routes will begin at 7 a.m. on Saturday, assuming conditions allow. 

The temporary traffic cones and signs on Settlers Landing bridge marking the Interstate 64 and Hampton University traffic lane have been removed for safety reasons.

Gov. Ralph Northam and City Manager Mary Bunting have declared states of emergency, which makes it easier to access funding and resources.

There are several ways Hampton residents can keep up with storm news and city announcements:

  • Visit
  • Sign up at to get news and or emergency alerts via text or email
  • Sign up for the less-frequent e-newsletter at
  • Follow Hampton, VA - Gov on Facebook or @cityofhampton on Twitter
  • Watch for posts on NextDoor
  • Call 311 (727-8311 from a cell phone)

Norfolk: Three shelters are opening beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday: Bayview Rec Center (pet-friendly) – 8613 Willow Terrace Blvd; Norview High School (medical services) – 6501 Chesapeake Blvd; Southside STEM Academy – 1106 Campostella Rd.

Portsmouth: The City of Portsmouth announces that due to the significant coastal flooding expected from Hurricane Dorian, a voluntary evacuation order for Portsmouth Zone A residents is effective at 12 p.m. today, Thursday, September 5th.  Please evacuate to higher ground until the storm has passed.

RELATED: Voluntary evacuation for Zone A residents in Portsmouth

A voluntary evacuation is a type of evacuation where people choose to move from a perceived area of danger to an area of safety either on their own or under the direction of government. ... No penalty is issued for failing to follow a voluntary evacuation. Visit immediately if you do not know your evacuation zone.   

Citizens should call the 311 Non-Emergency Call Center for storm-related questions and reports.

The City of Portsmouth will open an emergency shelter for residents in at 12 p.m. Thursday at I.C. Norcom High School, 1801 London Boulevard, medical needs accommodations on site.  

If residents choose to go to the shelter, they should bring:

  • Bedding items (including pillows, blankets, sleeping bags, etc.)
  • Extra clothing, shoes, eyeglasses, etc. 
  • Folding chairs or cots 
  • Personal hygiene supplies 
  • Flashlights and batteries 
  • Quiet games, books, and favorite toys 
  • Important papers, including proof of residency…
  • Prescription medications 

Residents must not bring:

  • Alcohol or illegal contraband 
  • Weapons

Newport News: The city is opening a shelter at Warwick High School, 51 Copeland Lane at 5 p.m. Thursday for those who have no alternative. 

Residents with questions can call the 311 Center at 757-933-2311. 

A bus service will be offered to the shelter between 6 and 8 p.m. Thursday. Citizens can come to either the Doris Miller Community Center (2814 Wickham Avenue) or Brittingham-Midtown Community Center (570 McLawhorne Drive) between 6 and 8 p.m. to be taken to the Warwick High School shelter.    

Dogs and cats are welcome at the shelter. Owners must remain at the shelter with their pets (no drop-offs). Pet parents are required to provide food and water for their pets and should bring a kennel or crate if they have one. 

Residents should bring the following to shelter:

  • any medications or special needs equipment as well as caregivers
  • air mattresses, blankets, and pillows
  • special items for babies and toddlers, the elderly and handicapped
  • reading materials and games
  • toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, etc.)
  • clothing
  • water (at least one gallon per person per day for three days)
  • non-perishable food; special diet foods, including foods for seniors and infants
  • first aid kit
  • important documents
  • reading materials and games
  • battery operated radio, flashlight and extra batteries

Suffolk: The city is opening an emergency shelter at 5 p.m. Thursday King's Fork High School, 351 Kings Fork Road.

Residents will have to sign in to officially be admitted into the shelter. 'Shelter hopping' isn't allowed. Noise levels will need to be kept at a minimum. Quiet hours are 11 p.m. - 7 a.m. 

Pets are not allowed at the Kings Fork High School shelter.

Anyone who has questions about the shelter or finding accommodations for their pets can call the Suffolk Police Department non-emergency number at 923-2350, option 8. The Emergency Operations Call Center will open at 5 p.m. Thursday and will be staffed 24 hours a day. The phone number is 514-4570. Residents also can get the latest information from the Hurricane Dorian section of the city's website.

Residents heading to the shelter should pack enough supplies to last at least two days for each family member.

What to bring to the shelter:

  • bottled water
  • manual can opener and cooler
  • flashlight and batteries
  • folding chairs
  • cot/sleeping bag/blanket and pillow
  • photocopies of important papers (i.e. insurance policies)
  • canned/packaged food
  • disposable plates, cups, utensils
  • battery powered radio, TV, headphones
  • quiet games, toys, books, cards
  • Toiletries
  • baby supplies

The following items are banned from this emergency shelter:

  • alcohol, drugs and other illegal substances
  • pets (except assistance dogs)
  • loud radios or TVs
  • smoking, vaping, matches, lighters
  • weapons of any kind (guns, knives, chains, etc.)

Virginia Beach: The following shelters will be open to residents:

  • Kellam High School, 2665 West Neck Road, will open at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5.
  • Citizens who are seeking shelter at Kellam CAN shelter their pets as well.
  • Edward E. Brickell Academy for Advanced Academics and Arts, 4639 Honeygrove Road, will open at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5.
  • Pets are NOT allowed at this shelter (except assistance dogs).

The Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center, 341 S. Birdneck Road, can assist people who need shelter arrangements for pets.

Individuals who plan on relocating to a shelter should bring enough supplies to last at least three days for each family member. Please visit for rules, a list of what supplies to bring and items that are prohibited in shelters. This is a general shelter and not the medically friendly shelter. The general shelter will provide electrical power, water and shelter from the elements for the duration of the storm. Medical care, sleeping, comfort and personal care items are not available at this general shelter.

The following is prohibited inside the shelter: smoking, alcohol, drugs, other illegal substances, loud radios or televisions, matches, lighters and weapons of any kind (guns, knives, chains, etc.).

For citizens bringing their pets to the shelters indicated above, please ensure food and medications are provided for each animal. Other essential pet supplies include rabies certificate or tag, a picture of the animal (preferably with the owner), and a collar/leash.

Shelter for the homeless

The Four Oaks Day Service Center at 7401 Warwick Boulevard in Newport News will have extended hours and will be open throughout the night to serve as shelter for the homeless.

In Virginia Beach, the Housing Resource Center, 104 N. Witchduck Road, will offer overnight shelter beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, for up to 40 single adults experiencing street homelessness. The purpose of providing shelter at the Housing Resource Center is to supplement the capabilities of the City's main shelter by providing additional space and services that may be needed by people experiencing homelessness. Shelter at the Housing Resource Center will end Saturday morning. For more information, contact Pam Shine, (757) 274-1739, or Ruth Hill, (757) 274-2154.

Hurricane Dorian News: