The National Hurricane Center currently forecasts Hurricane Irene to reach the Alexandria area this weekend. The National Weather Service predicts that Virginia could experience damaging winds and flooding in low-lying areas beginning Saturday through Sunday. In advance of forecasted severe weather, residents should review storm preparation procedures to handle possible flooding, high winds, downed tree limbs, and power outages.
With the possibility of a storm surge and tidal flooding, sandbags will be available to Alexandria businesses and residents beginning Friday, August 26, at 11 a.m. The City will have trailer trucks loaded with sandbags at three locations:
- The intersection of King and Lee Streets in Old Town
- George Washington Middle School, 1005 Mount Vernon Ave.
- Cora Kelly School for Math, Science, and Technology, 3600 Commonwealth Ave.
Residents are also encouraged to prevent flooding and sewer backups in their homes and businesses by taking the following steps:
- Clear eaves, drains and sewer openings to prevent clogging.
- Check gutters and downspouts; clearing debris from them if necessary.
- Inspect sump pumps to ensure they are working properly.
- Move furniture and other items from basements to upper floors if located in areas of the City subject to sanitary sewer backups.
Residents should keep recommended emergency supplies on hand to be effectively prepared for extended power outages. To report power outages, residents must call Dominion Virginia Power at 1.888.667.4357. If a power outage occurs, candles should not be used under any circumstances because they are a fire hazard. Commercial building owners, managers, and engineers should check the emergency generators for their properties, and ensure they are in proper working order.
Downed Trees and Tree Limbs
If a tree or major tree limb debris falls onto City streets, contact the Alexandria Police Department at 703.838.4444 to report it so the trees can be removed.
Plan to be self-sustaining for at least three days by stocking your pantry with food that doesn’t require refrigeration and ensuring that you have one gallon of water per person per day. Be sure to have emergency supplies on hand, including flashlights and a portable, battery-operated radio with extra batteries; first aid kit; a non-electric can opener; essential medicines; cash and credit cards; and sturdy shoes. For more emergency preparedness tips, visit www.ReadyVirginia.gov.
Other Safety Measures
Residents should bring in garbage cans, lawn furniture, and other items that could be blown by high winds or become dangerous projectiles. Pets should also be brought inside for their safety.
The City is monitoring weather conditions and is preparing to open its Emergency Operations Center over the weekend. For more information, visit alexandriava.gov or call 703.746.4800.