From an email to Empsy from Council Jim Wood:
Subject: Nor’eastercane SANDY Update #5
The 0900 City Manager and 1000 VDEM updates have revealed Sandy’s impacts to Virginia Beach have slipped further into the start of this coming work week. We are predicting on Monday the City will still be experiencing significant effects of the nor’eastercane which may last into Tuesday. The second significant change we have deduced is that the storm tide impacts projection has lessened slightly. We have attached this morning’s briefing charts.(Editors note: I did not receive these briefing charts as of the time of this post.) Addressing the 5 key parameters, here is the latest:
1. Most significant issue remains tidal stacking within the Lynnhaven basin. High risk to low level residential flooding . We will be closely monitoring the endangered neighborhoods and at this time have not issued any evacuation directives. Staff is developing a Sandy specific inundation map utilizing current projections applied to the Corps of Engineers Surge Data map for a Cat 1 storm. The number of high/low tide cycles is now more comparable to the number and elevation we experienced in the 2006 Thanksgiving Nor’easter. We have used the Historical Tidal & Surge Chart to indicate where Sandy’s high tide elevations above Mean Low Water Level will be. We expect to be able to issue specific neighborhood flood warnings Sunday morning.
2. Sustained wind, is still not expected to reach hurricane force (only a 3% chance) and sustained tropical force winds are not expected either (a 9% chance). We do however anticipate tropical force gusts (+35% chance). As the storm remains offshore and is hooking around VB we will begin to experience consistent wind Sunday morning and expect it to last for over 62 hours into Tuesday. This lengthy duration will surely cause tree and debris knock down which in turn will cause power outages. Dominion’s weather advisory of 10:47AM this morning is attached. No change to their amber rating here in Tidewater. Currently 1800 customers are without power in VB.
3. Storm surge poses our third threat. Atlantic wave height projection has grown to +15 feet; Bay wave height has grown to 9 feet. Beach erosion will definitely be significant.
4. Rain is our 4th threat. Some areas of the City may receive up to 6 inches. Surface ponding will occur as runoff will be hindered due to elevated levels of the Lynnhaven, Elizabeth and North Landing Rivers, Back Bay and the many lakes and ponds throughout the City. The intensity projections of the rain may be lessening towards a more consistent downfall for a longer period.
5. Duration of Sandy continues to make this storm a significant event. Weather conditions will deteriorate later than first predicted and stretch into the new work week. Deteriorating conditions will begin after midnight tonight and impact the City thru Tuesday evening. The most intense period of the storm has lengthened and is projected to be Sunday afternoon thru Monday evening. During this intense period will see sustained wind of +30mph for nearly 30 hours. (30/30 effect)
Decisions we are assessing are: Public Schools for Monday, Shelter openings, EOC activation and City operational status for Monday. VBCPS, DHS and the Sherriff Office have been issued an internal warning order to plan/prepare for possible opening the Birdneck ES shelter Sunday morning. The next City Manager staff update is 1500 this afternoon. City staff continues to function under a normal operation status. The EOC is currently operating with EOC staff only except for staff updates. The ECCS 311 staff shifts to 24 hour operations effective 0700 Sunday morning. Current call volume is down and the frequently asked inquiries are: absentee voting and sheltering. Current closings for Sunday include: the Virginia Aquarium and Science Center and the Historic Houses. The VB Visitors Centers at First Landing State Park and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel Center will be closed on Sunday and Monday. Decisions on libraries and rec centers will occur following the 1500 update. US Dept of Homeland Security Advisor Milicich is participating in our staff analysis process. Will keep you advised.