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City prepares for tropical storm

The city of Suffolk is preparing for Tropical Storm Elsa, which will begin affecting the area in just a few hours.

City Manager Albert S. Moor II met with department heads and public safety officials Thursday morning related to local emergency measures, according to a city press release.

The city and other nearby areas are under a Tropical Storm Warning. The forecast for Suffolk is calling for 1 to 2 inches of rain, with the heaviest rain coming between 2 p.m. and midnight. Winds will be increasing during the day up to an estimated sustained 20 miles per hour, with gusts up to 32 miles per hour. There may be some urban flooding and runoff issues depending upon severity of rainfall. There also is a chance of isolated tornadoes.

City equipment and staff have been checking all known normal high water spots for blockages and open drainage ways. Public Works Roadway Operations will have overnight rapid response teams staffed and available in each of the four Maintenance Headquarters beginning at 8 p.m.

Suffolk Police and Suffolk Fire & Rescue have increased staffing for needs that may arise as a result of the storm.

City staff will have liberal leave for all non-Alpha personnel starting at noon Thursday.

During weather or other emergencies affecting Suffolk, residents have several methods to obtain and/or receive information related to road closures and other updates from the city and Emergency Management. Those methods include:

  • Suffolk Mass Notification System — www.suffolkva.us/SuffolkNotify — Residents can sign up for alerts delivered via email, phone, or text. This system enables the city to provide critical information quickly in a variety of situations, such as severe weather, unexpected major road closures, missing persons and evacuations of buildings or neighborhoods. There is also an option for weather alerts from the National Weather Service.
  • City social media — Facebook (@suffolkva) and Twitter (@CityofSuffolk)
  • Suffolk Police Department social media — Facebook (@suffolkpolicedepartment)
  • Suffolk Fire & Rescue social media — Facebook (@suffolkfirerescue)
  • Nextdoor — The City of Suffolk, Suffolk Police, and Suffolk Fire & Rescue have the ability to post messages to all Suffolk members of Nextdoor regardless of neighborhood.
  • Suffolk Website — During an emergency, an alert link will be up at the top of the homepage and every page on the site at suffolkva.us. Additionally, under City Spotlights, information from news releases from the city will be posted and updated.
  • Suffolk Municipal Channel — Spectrum Channel 190. Information will be displayed on the Bulletin Board portion of programming. For those without Spectrum TV, the channel is streamed live 24/7 at this link: http://suffolkva.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?publish_id=2.