Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Would Hurricane Dorian’s projected path hold true to forecasters’ predictions or would it deviate far enough inland to wreak havoc on Southeastern Virginia and possibly the Northern Neck?

A lot of people wanted to know. So, they watched and waited.

Fortunately, the forecasters’ predictions turned out to be accurate.

While the colossal storm pummeled parts of the Outer Banks, it caused a lot less damage to Virginia’s coastline just 95 miles or so to the north, though some parts of the Hampton Roads area experienced flooding and several thousand homes were left temporarily without power.

Still, it was best to be prepared in the event conditions worsened. So, the colleges that were in the line of fire – Camp, Tidewater, Thomas Nelson and Rappahannock – took all necessary precautions. TCC and Camp both canceled classes on Friday and part of the day on Thursday.

Will we be as fortunate the next time? While most experts are calling for a slightly less-than-average hurricane season for the balance of 2019, they caution that it only takes one.

Kim Hobert, VCCS’s director of emergency planning, safety & security services, says it’s “absolutely essential” that you be aware of what’s going on around you and that you keep up-to-date on local news so you’ll know how to prepare.

If you’re driving

“You’ll definitely need water. I also keep a few different snacks in my car. It’s also a good idea to keep flashers, and all the vehicle emergency things, reflectors and what-not, in case you have to pull over.”
A place of refuge

If you’re stuck on campus, Hobert says it’s always best to find an interior room that’s structurally sound.

“High winds and heavy rain are the biggest threats. You’re going to be safest on the inside and in a room with no windows.”

Back to work

Once the “all clear” has officially been given, Hobert says you still need to exercise caution.

“If the work day is just beginning or something’s happened overnight, it’s up to you and your supervisors to make the safest decision for you, whether you’re going to come to the office or make alternate plans.”

If driving becomes a necessity, Hobert recommends first checking for road closures caused by accidents, fallen trees and debris or high water. Doing so could not only save you time, it might even save your life.'

Craig Butterworth

A native of Richmond, Craig Butterworth is an award-winning broadcast journalist and communications professional. He has worked as a spokesperson, staff writer and editor for a variety of non-profit and for-profit organizations throughout the Richmond area.

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