Thanks to Delegate Mark Keam for this thorough, timely update on Sandy’s impacts on Virginia.
I was just on another daily conference call with Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and public safety officials. This will be the last scheduled daily call from the state’s leadership about Hurricane Sandy.
Here are some highlights and helpful information as interpreted by me (i.e., not necessarily verbatim from the Governor):
— Thankfully, the worst is over and Virginia didn’t suffer as much damage as originally anticipated. For those impacted, this was clearly a serious weather incident, but we all thank God that it wasn’t more extensive.
— It’s too early to know the full extent of damage, but efforts are under way to make evaluations. Concerns remain with rising water and power outages and dangers that remain, so everyone needs to continue to be on guard over the next several days.
— There have been two storm-related traffic fatalities in Virginia confirmed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The deaths occurred in the Central Region of the state. Additional details are not yet available. No other storm-related deaths have been reported. our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.
— No major communications outages are reported.
Lots more on the “flip”
— Power Outages: At 10:30 a.m., reported power outages were at 181,000 statewide. The greatest increases in outages overnight occurred in northern and southwest Virginia. Utilities hope to have all power restored by Thursday night.
— 280 roads, mostly secondary roads, are closed across Virginia. Road conditions in several areas of the Commonwealth are very slick because of rain, snow, black ice and/or wet leaves. Motorists are urged to use caution when driving.
— 143 secondary roads in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties are closed due to either high water, downed trees and/or power lines. The majority of these roads are in Fairfax County. A complete list of road closures and advisories, sortable by county, is available at 511virginia.org/mobile
— Motorists are cautioned that 107 signals in northern Virginia are not functioning. If traffic signal is out, motorists should treat the intersection as a four-way stop.
— Statewide from Sunday, Oct. 28, thru 6 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, VA State Troopers responded to 2,549 traffic crashes and disabled vehicles and received a total of 4,605 calls for service. During the height of the storm, state police were fielding 155 calls for service an hour.
— Big thanks to all the first responders (both public servants and private sector partners) for their diligent hard work around the clock. Particular thanks to General Chip Long and the 630 Virginia National Guard personnel for stepping up in a big way.
— Yesterday, President Obama issued a federal emergency declaration, which will allow more resources to be sent to Virginia soon.
— Gov. McDonnell earlier already issued an oral declaration of emergency but today, he is issuing the written version. In it, he will extend the deadlines for numerous government licensing/fee issues that would have expired tomorrow (end of month) to November 9, since the state government was closed for 2 days. Citizens should not feel the need to rush to government offices tomorrow to renew your licenses.
— Voting offices will be opened extra hours to make up for lost times. More details will be provided to each polling location so check with each County.
— State and Federal governments are closed today but they should be open tomorrow as the road conditions improve.
— Finally, big thanks to every Virginian who listened to warnings and remained home or indoors. You helped reduce the problems for first responders.