RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Gov. Ralph Northam has declared a State of Emergency as Tropical Storm Michael is rapidly advancing toward Virginia.
The storm is expected to bring heavy rain and tropical-storm-force winds to parts of the Commonwealth, including Hampton Roads. A tornado watch was issued early Thursday for much of Virginia and North Carolina until 9 p.m.
Another impact lingering into Friday will be flights, with American Airlines canceling its first three flights out of Wilmington International Airport. Gary Broughton, the airport’s deputy director, said the first American flight to depart will be at 7:09 a.m. to Charlotte. As of 4 p.m., Delta planned to announce on a normal schedule and United had not made a final decision.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a State of Emergency on Wednesday, hours before Michael made landfall as a catastrophic Category 4 hurricane.
Hampton Roads could begin seeing the effects from Michael Thursday evening — leaving the possibility for a messy evening commute. The eye of Michael could pass through the region around 8 p.m.
Michael is expected to start pushing out to sea overnight — and by Friday morning, Michael will weaken further and become more of a nor'easter.
Unlike Florence, which drenched the region while moving as slow as 2 mph, the remnants of Michael moved around or slightly above 20 mph throughout Thursday. The storm’s speed meant limited impact from rain in the Wilmington region.
Northam's declaration is designed to help officials mobilize resources and help state agencies mitigate any damage from the storm.
I am declaring a state of emergency in order to provide state assets to Virginians and to assist our neighbors in states who are dealing with the devastating effects of this historic storm. My thoughts are with all those along with the Gulf Coast and my administration will continue our outreach to governors and state agencies where Hurricane Michael has produced widespread damage."
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In Surf City, where debris from stairs and boardwalks remained scattered across the strand, Mayor Doug Medlin Thursday morning said the impacts were limited to some minor overwash on the town’s north end.