Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Early Season Hurricane Threats

In June of 1972, the first named storm of the season developed over the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Agnes would impact the area as a tropical depression causing $222 million dollars worth of damage in Virginia alone. Agnes caused the James River to Crest at 36.5 feet and inundated the water supply for the City and most critical infrastructure. Agnes remains a storm of record for Richmond and much of Virginia.

Path of Hurricane Agnes 

As many on the East Coast embrace for this year’s first named storm Arthur, it is a good time to remember that hurricanes can form anytime between June 1st and November 30th. Typically Virginia experiences hurricanes later in the season; Agnes and Arthur serve as a reminder that this is not always true. It is important to prepare yourself before the start of hurricane season.

River flooding from Agnes 

Remember to make a plan for your family. Hurricanes come with advance warning so take that time to prepare, have a family communications plan, and take into consideration family members that may rely on you for additional support. Check your emergency kit to make sure you have enough food and water for your family, and don’t forget pets too. Check flashlights, radios, and batteries to make sure they are in working order. You may want to fill up your vehicle with fuel as power outages can render gas stations inoperable. Don’t forget to have cash on hand as after a disaster stores may offer goods but are only able to accept cash due to power outages. Lastly, remember to pay attention to local forecasts and follow official shelter in place or evacuation orders, as hurricane tracks and intensity change frequently. The City of Richmond has a partnership with WRIR 97.3 FM to provide timely and accurate warnings when a threat is imminent or occurring.

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