Virginia’s governor on Hurricane Joaquin: ‘Preparation for a major event’

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) – Gov. Terry McAuliffe is warning Virginians of the prospect of flooding and power failures as a rain-soaked weather system moves into the state.

At a briefing Thursday at the state’s emergency management center in suburban Richmond, the governor and other top officials advised residents to be prepared for the worst — up to 10 inches of rain.

McAuliffe said western Virginia is already reeling from drenching rain that wiped out or closed roads earlier this week. He declared a state of emergency Wednesday.

The governor said more than 800 Virginia National Guard soldiers are ready to be mobilized.

Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne said 2,500 state and contract crews are also on call.

The State of Emergency which allows state and local emergency responders to begin to prepare for the effects of the significant rainfall forecast for Thursday and Friday as well as the potential threat of Hurricane Joaquin.

“I cannot stress enough the imperative for Virginians to focus on the rainstorms that are headed our way tomorrow and Friday, well before Hurricane Joaquin could potentially impact Virginia,” said Governor McAuliffe. “The forecast of up to 10 inches of rain in areas across Virginia could result in floods, power outages and a serious threat to life and property. As we continue to track the path of Hurricane Joaquin, I have instructed the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security to make every preparation for a major event Thursday and Friday.”

The following Hampton Roads cities have declared a state of emergency ahead of the severe weather:

  • Hampton
  • Newport News
  • Norfolk
  • Portsmouth

The declaration will allow the City to seek state assistance and possible federal reimbursement for storm related costs.

The State of Emergency declared by McAuliffe triggered Virginia’s anti-price gouging laws. That means it is illegal for anyone to charge “unconscionable prices” for necessary goods and services. The anti-price gouging statutes is designed to protect consumers from paying exorbitant prices for necessities during an emergency.

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