Residents urged to prepare for tornadoes

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 8, 2005

Staff Report

The 2005 hurricane season is off to an active start.

Remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy impacted parts of Virginia Thursday, and Hurricane Dennis is projected to make landfall in the United States next week.

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The Virginia Department of Emergency Management is asking residents to prepare now for possible flooding and tornadoes. A tornado watch was in effect throughout Hampton Roads until 10 p.m. Thursday. Now, emergency planners are looking ahead.

&uot;The effects of a tropical storm on Virginia can cause significant problems,&uot; said Michael Cline, state coordinator for VDEM. &uot;Residents need to remain aware and prepared for flooding, especially flash flooding, when these storm remnants pass through the Commonwealth.&uot;

Officials are also warning of rising waters when in a vehicle, and stress that occupants should

abandon the automobile and seek higher ground.

Citizens should also monitor NOAA Weather Radio, local radio or television stations to stay informed, and take the steps to prepare for flooding and tornadoes, such as:

Getting pre-assembled emergency supplies together; fill bathtubs, sinks and plastic bottles with clean water; and fill your car’s gas tank in case an evacuation notice is issued.

Follow recommended evacuation routes. If you are driving and come upon rapidly rising waters, turn around and find another route. Do not drive around barricades.

If you’re caught in the house by suddenly rising waters, move to the second floor and to the roof, if necessary.

Don’t attempt to walk through floodwaters. If you are driving, stay clear of low-lying roads and bridges that could be washed away.