The City of Richmond continues the recovery process following a second night of severe thunderstorms. The largest impact from the storm events is related to power outages, and city officials continue to work closely Dominion Virginia Power as well as local emergency personnel to respond to the needs generated by the weather events.
In the city of Richmond, over 15,000 Dominion Power customers remain without power. Temperatures today are expected to reach triple-digits with the heat indices reaching as high as 106?. In response to the anticipated need, the City of Richmond is operating cooling shelters today from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All residents should take measures to stay hydrated and avoid prolonged exposure to the heat during the day.
Cooling Shelters are located at:
- Southside Community Services Center, 4100 Hull Street Road
- Department of Social Services, 900 East Marshall Street
Bottled water will be available. Pets, with the exception of service animals, are not allowed.
The City of Richmond has logged approximately 90 locations with reported trees down. However, all primary streets, with the exceptions of Cherokee Road (7000 – 100000 blocks) and Forest Hill Avenue (4400 block, between 45th & Taylor Streets), are open and passable.
Cherokee Road and Forest Hill Avenue are closed due to wires down at this time. Dominion Virginia Power is working to resolve the issues. Some neighborhood streets are also blocked; however, the City is not aware of any neighborhoods where residents have no means of exit or entry. City crews from Urban Forestry, Solid Waste and Roadway Maintenance are continuing with the cleanup efforts throughout the city. Residents and business owners are encouraged to continue reporting issues with storm related damage causing blockage of streets and sidewalks.
Mayor Dwight C. Jones in speaking about the recovery efforts noted, “Governor McDonnell’s action in declaring a State of Emergency authorizes state agencies to assist local governments in responding to the storm’s impact. We are tracking our progress closely, and if we find it necessary to call on supplementary resources, this puts us in a position to have those resources expedited for our use.”
No critical infrastructure of the city was impacted by the storm. The city’s water plant and wastewater treatment plant have power and are operating normally. However, residents are encouraged not to open fire hydrants in an effort to cool off, because this weakens the water pressure and can lead to problems with fire response efforts and other water delivery efforts. Residents without electrical power, or who do not have access to shelter from the heat, are encouraged to take precautions in response to the extreme heat and utilize the cooling shelters as provided by the City.
Residents are also warned to stay away from downed power lines. The City and Dominion Virginia Power are working closely together to identify those areas where power lines need to be removed and where debris removal can follow.
For more information regarding cooling services, residents can contact the Department of Social Services Fuel Assistance Office at (804) 646-7046. Elderly residents with heat related issues can contact the Adult Protective Service Unit at (804) 646-0501. In the event of a heat related emergency, please call 9-1-1.