Richmond, VA – Hurricane Irene has caused a substantial amount of damage to structures, down trees and power outages throughout the City of Richmond. The City has implemented its Emergency Response Operations Plan and has crews removing downed trees, picking-up debris, and ensuring all City streets are passable. The City is coordinating its efforts with Virginia Dominion Power for restoration of power to City residents and businesses. While the City appreciates residents who desire to assist in this effort, residents should refrain from cutting trees that are in the public streets or sidewalks. Residents attempting to cut trees on their private property should do so with care and be cautious in operating chainsaws, lifting debris and over exertion.
Residents operating generators should only do so outside in a well ventilated area at least 10 feet from any structures and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. Generators should always be operated under supervision and be turned off before re-fueling.
The City’s Customer Care Center is open and accepting residents calls for service until 7 p.m. Residents who have had a tree fall onto their home are asked to call 3-1-1 or 646-7000 to have a City building inspector assess for structural damage.
The City’s Water Treatment Plant did not sustain any storm damage and is completely functional. The integrity of the water distribution system has not been compromised and the City’s water is safe for consumption and adequate for fire suppression.
Power outages have affected traffic signals as many are not working properly or at all. Residents are encouraged to remain at home and avoid travel if at all possible. If travel is necessary, motorists are advised to take caution when proceeding through all intersections, and to stop at all intersections and railroad crossings in which the signal is malfunctioning or not working as required by law.
Residents should note that refrigerators will store food safely for up to 4 hours without power if the door is kept closed. Freezers that are half full will hold food safely for up to 24 hours without power; a full freezer will hold food safely for 48 hours. Throw away any thawed food that has a temperature of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Residents without utilities or food and who are in need of shelter, should call 3-1-1 or 254-1191. Residents in need of shelter who require special medical assistance should also call 3-1-1 or the City’s Emergency Operations Center at 254-1191.
For up-to-date information and additional instructions during the storm, please visit www.Richmondgov.com, follow the City on Twitter @CityRichmondVA), and tune into local radio and television stations.