Natatia Bledsoe is the public information officer for the Fredericksburg Police Department.
City Declares Local Emergency
UPDATE 6:30 PM
Approximately 1025 VA Dominion Power customers are currently without power in Fredericksburg, among them City Hall and the City’s website.
A tree fell through the roof and into an upper story bedroom at Hazel Hill Apartments on Princess Anne Street. Fortunately, the resident was not at home and nobody was injured. The apartment manager is making arrangements for alternative accomodations.
Residents are urged to stay off the roads and in their homes! Trees are coming down all over the City into roadways and onto utility lines, and conditions are not safe to venture out.
I’m told the worst rain and wind activity is yet to come between 9pm and midnight.
City officials have activated several measures in anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Irene. The Emergency Operations Center opened at 9:00 am this morning, staffed by officials from the Fire Department, Police Department, the City Manager’s Office, Public Works, and I.T.
The EOC will remain open and staffed as long as necessary to manage the response of the City’s resources to the hurricane.
At 9:33 am, the City Manager authorized the declaration of a local emergency, which allows Fredericksburg to request assistance from the state as needed and activates emergency procurement procedures to streamline the recovery phase.
The Fredericksburg area is likely to receive 2-4 inches of rain during the 24-hour storm impact timeframe, and sustained winds of 20-30 mph are expected. There could also be wind gusts of up to 40 mph or more. Here is a link to the National Weather Service.
If deemed necessary due to extended and widespread power outages and damage, the City will open an emergency shelter at James Monroe High School. Residents should monitor local radio and news outlets to get information on the status of a shelter.
City residents should be prepared to shelter at home.
All residents should have on hand an adequate supply of bottled water, non-perishable food items, medication, flashlights and batteries, and provisions for pets. Here is a link to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management for more information.
The Fire Department will staff an additional ambulance and will augment staffing on reserve fire apparatus as needed.
The Police Department will have additional personnel working in the 911 Center to answer calls from citizens and dispatch emergency services.
The Department of Public Works will have additional staffing in place throughout the duration of the storm and its aftermath. Residents are reminded that City crews will remove downed trees from the roadway and from sidewalks, but property owners are responsible for the removal of trees and debris that fall on private property, which includes vehicles, homes, and businesses. The property owner should contact their own insurance company to arrange for this clean-up. Tree debris that is stacked curbside will be removed by Public Works staff as soon as is practicable.
The Department of Parks, Recreation, and Public Facilities has personnel on standby to mitigate the effects of storm activity on government buildings. The Dixon Park pool is closed. Motts Reservoir, the Dog Park, Alum Springs Park, Old Mill Park and Dixon Park will be closed Saturday and Sunday due to the inclement weather.
The City’s parking garage on Sophia Street will allow complimentary parking access to the public all weekend.