PHOTOS: Work crews prepare for Hurricane Arthur's arrival


by 13News Now

Posted on July 3, 2014 at 3:19 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 3 at 3:19 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH -- Public work crews are preparing for the potential arrival of Hurricane Arthur.

Norfolk Public Works crews have been preparing for days for the arrival of Hurricane Arthur.  Since Monday, Public Works crews have been cleaning storm drains and ditches.

Norfolk officials said Thursday that towing and recovery is operating on a regular schedule and constructions sites will be closed and secured.

Storm water crews will be on standby to address any problem areas.

Beginning at noon Thursday, Old Dominion University will open its five parking garages to ODU students, faculty/staff and Norfolk residents living adjacent to the University wishing to move their vehicles to higher ground. The garages are located at:
•    A – 43rd Street and Elkhorn Avenue
•    B – 43rd Street and Bluestone Avenue
•    C – Between 41St/43rd Streets and Hampton Blvd./Monarch Way
•    D – Between 45th/46th Streets and Hampton Blvd./Monarch Way
•    E – 49th Street
Crews in Virginia Beach say residents put grass clippings and leaves into drainage ditches, which can lead to flooding.

"Pretty much you name it, we've pulled it out of a drainage ditch - even a toilet. Crews are focusing on all low lying areas, Shore Drive, Chesapeake Beach and Ocean Park. We can't get to all the spots, but our priority are places with a history of flooding," said Mark Bradley of Virginia Beach Public Works. 

Virginia Beach has 90 miles of ditches. It takes five years to get around to all ditches in the city.

"This is all hand digging, not machines,"  said Phil Meekins of Virginia Beach Public Works.

"In the summertime we are busy killing Mosquitoes. Before a storm, our crews stop focusing on Mosquitoes and target the ditches with the most chance of flooding. The storm two weeks ago knocked more debris into ditches, which added to the problem," Meekins said.

Public works crews expect minor beach erosion in Virginia Beach, but not as a bad as a normal nor'easter.

City officials in Hampton began monitoring the storm earlier this week.

Crews checked drains in flood-prone areas to make sure they're clear. They also checked equipment to make sure it's ready and available.

When there's a big storm there's usually some flooding in the neighborhoods around Buckroe Beach, which is where Wynne Clarke lives.  He's making sure he has sandbags for his doors in case of flooding. 

"It usually comes up from the street and the marina and floods the streets and the apartments coming up the hill.   That's usually the problem it doesn't usually come over the dunes itself," Clarke said.