Wow! While I was working on the last post, Norfolk issued a mandatory evacuation for low lying areas a/k/a Category 1 hurricane flood zones. Category 2 flood zones are encouraged to evacuate as well . For those familiar with Norfolk, this impacts a HUGE area (not my house, fortunately, which is in a Category 3 zone). Where evacuees will go is perhaps the biggest question since the shelters listed to date cannot any where near accommodate the number of people involved. Here are highlights from WVEC-TV 13:
NORFOLK--City Manager Marcus D. Jones signed a declaration of emergency for the City of Norfolk Thursday afternoon.
The city has upgraded its previous order and is issuing a mandatory evacuation of all residents in low-lying areas. The city is urging residents to implement their hurricane plan and stay away from these areas until the storm passes. All residents in these low-lying areas need to be evacuated by 8am Saturday.
Low-lying areas are defined as residents living in the Category 1 storm surge. The city strongly urges residents living in Category 2 to leave as well. . . . . The city is expecting heavy rains, storm surge and hurricane force winds. Roads will flood. Police, firefighters and paramedics will not be able to safely retrieve residents from these areas once the hurricane hits.
People who evacuate should stay out of the city. Evacuees should monitor weather reports, leave as soon as possible to avoid heavy traffic and stay well beyond the projected path of the hurricane.
The Category 1 areas include much of downtown, much of the area around Old Dominion and Norfolk State Universities and Willoughby Spit and parts of Ocean View, not to mention most of Ghent and Larchmont. A flood zone map can be found here (NOTE: it downloads very slowly): http://www.hremc.org/SURGE%20-%20Norfolk.pdf