Officials: Stay home Monday if possible

Published 10:04 pm Sunday, October 28, 2012

State officials on Sunday urged Hampton Roads residents to stay off the roads on Monday, as the storm is expected to be more violent than it was over the weekend.

“It’s going to get a lot worse than it is right now,” Gov. Bob McDonnell said in a Sunday afternoon conference with media. “If people don’t make good, wise decisions on their own, they invite unnecessary risk. Please don’t go out on the roads.”

Hurricane Sandy battered the region with wind and rain throughout Sunday, causing some roads in Suffolk to flood during high tide. Heavy rain is expected to continue all day and night Monday, with winds increasing to 35-45 miles per hour, with gusts up to 60 mph.

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“The final word to our residents is it’s going to be a long haul,” McDonnell said.

McDonnell encouraged employers to allow liberal leave and telecommuting so employees will not have to drive. State offices and federal offices in the Washington, D.C., area are closed Monday.

The governor also encouraged residents to stay safe during and after the storm by placing generators outside, avoiding candles, watching for downed power lines and helping neighbors clean up.

“At the end of the day, it’s about being a good neighbor, using common sense,” he said.

Around Suffolk on Sunday, most residents hunkered down, but a few went to common flooding spots, including Bennett’s Creek Marina, to check out the scene. A handful of roads flooded and were closed, and others had high water but were still passable.

Roughly 250 Dominion Virginia Power customers were without power throughout the day, but all had been restored by 10 p.m.

Suffolk city offices will open at the usual time of 8:30 a.m. on Monday. Suffolk Public Schools and Nansemond-Suffolk Academy announced Monday closings.