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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Agency Update and state by state snapshot

A brief update on actions from VMAC partners

VA Dept of Forestry 
All is calm and quiet for the most part, not as much impact /damage as anticipated.
Both 10 person State saw crews have been demob as of 1130 today.
The State EOC will probably remain open on a 24-hour basis for the duration until approximately 11/1/12 at end of day shift. Resources remain available for local response as requested.

National Park Service 
All Parks remain closed down. National Capital area are in good shape, have a few down trees with local saw crews handling also have some flooding, expect the worst of the flooding however in the next few days. Have no anticipated needs at this time for resources.
Zeph Cunningham IMT along with Zeke will be prepositioned in Hagerstown, MD. The other NPS team will be prepositioned in Columbus, OH. NPS Type 2 teams are receiving reassignments. Appears that the team staged in Hagerstown are head towards NYC Harbor Parks, they are lining up their resources now for this assignment which will consist of assisting the Parks of locating and assisting some 400+ employees.

Fish and Wildlife Service 
Refuges located in VA are fine, Eastern Shore area received some damage but they are okay and can handle the damage themselves. FWS Helicopter will be repositioning from GA to VA by this evening, ship will be used to recon damage up the coastline.
The FWS Type 3 team anticipate an assignment in the NJ/NY area, not sure on the particulars at this point, but Tim and the fire crew will head that direction once the decisions are completed.
Forest Service 
Most George Washington & Jefferson NF District Offices are reporting in as closed, no other reports available at this time. The FS WO has the NIMO Incident Command Team Quesinberry(short team) have an assignment at this time and they are headed to Lakehurst NJ. The 11 /2 person saw crews are in route (5 crews with VA-VAF to the Farmingdale NY area and 5 crews with TX-TXF/AR-OUF & AR-OZF are preposition here in Roanoke waiting on reassignments, there are also 2 TFLD’s to oversee resources available and on hold for the saw crew resources. The Augusta Hotshots are currently at their destination of Middletown PA.

No further word as of this time of the FEMA Declaration (FEMA Charge code) for VA, however the resources that are currently on order are prepositioning for the FS is a WO code and FS Agency only, once the WO receives a code from FEMA, VICC will proceed with inquiry about resource availability from other agencies with the potential of resources also getting reassigned to other locations out of area.

 Here's a snapshot of what is happening, state by state as of Tuesday 10/30/2012

North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue expanded a state of emergency to western North Carolina, which could see a foot of snow. A woman who was pulled from the Atlantic after abandoning a tall ship died. Power outages: 6,600.

The Long Island Sound flooded roads as the storm toppled trees and power lines Two people died, including an Easton firefighter who was killed when a tree fell on his truck. Power outages: More than 615,000.

Nearly all residents of flood-prone coastal communities in Kent County heeded calls to evacuate. The Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach resort communities were flooded. Power outages: More than 45,000.

High wind warnings and a lakeshore flood warning are in effect Tuesday and Wednesday in Chicago. City officials said Lake Shore Drive is expected to remain open.

A winter storm warning is in effect for three southeastern counties until Wednesday. In some areas, winds could gust up to 50 mph through Tuesday.

Wind gusts topped 60 mph, shutting down the port of Portland and knocking out power to homes and businesses. Power outages: More than 86,000.

Floodwaters swamped touristy Ocean City. In western Maryland, snow tied up traffic. Two people were killed, including a man who died when a tree fell on a house in Pasadena. Power outages: 290,000.

Strong winds and heavy surf led to mandatory evacuations in sections of coastal Dartmouth and Fall River and voluntary evacuations in other coastal communities. Power outages: About 290,000.

High winds knocked out power to about 79,000 homes and businesses.

Politicians canceled visits to the presidential swing state on Monday. Power outages: 210,000.

The center of the storm came ashore Monday evening near Atlantic City, which was cut off from the mainland by the storm surge along with other barrier islands, stranding residents who ignored warnings to evacuate. A tidal surge sent water into the streets of two northern New Jersey towns, setting off a frantic rescue effort. At least three deaths were reported. Power outages: More than 2.3 million.

A record storm surge that was higher than predicted along with high winds damaged the electrical system and plunged millions of people into darkness. Utilities say it could be up to a week before power is fully restored. A fire burned 50 houses in one flooded section of Queens. There were 17 storm-related deaths, 10 of them in New York City. Power outages: 2.3 million.

The Cleveland area and northeast Ohio were being slammed with rain and high winds. Snow was reported in some parts south of Cleveland and south of Columbus. Power outages: More than 250,000.

Wind and flooding closing more than 200 bridges and roads. Four people died, including an 8-year-old boy who was killed when a tree limb fell on him. Power outages: 1.2 million.

Howling winds and storm surges forced mandatory and voluntary evacuations in low-lying and coastal communities. Providence's hurricane barrier performed well in one of its biggest tests. Power outages: 115,000.

Snow expected in higher elevations, where a freeze warning has been issued. High winds expected in many areas.

Winds knocked down trees and power lines, and schools were closed. Power outages: More than 10,000.

Utilities brought in crews to help restore power after high winds and snow. A curfew was ordered Monday on Chincoteague Island. Two people died in storm-related traffic accidents. Power outages: More than 180,000.

Federal and local governments will remain closed Tuesday along with the courts, public schools and the Metro system that serves 1.2 million weekday customers. Power outages: 25,000.

Some areas are buried under more than a foot of snow. A woman was killed in a traffic crash. Power outages: More than 264,000.

A village along Lake Michigan suggested residents evacuate Tuesday morning because of the possibility of dangerously high waves and flooding.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Waiver for Victims of Hurricane Sandy

Governor McDonnell Announces Penalty and Interest Waiver for Victims of Hurricane Sandy

RICHMOND—Governor McDonnell along with Tax Commissioner Craig M. Burns has announced that Virginia will provide a penalty waiver to those individuals and businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy.  This penalty waiver applies to any late returns filed or payments made by affected taxpayers between October 29, 2012 and November 9, 2012.  To notify the Department of Taxation that you were affected by Hurricane Sandy, you must write “Hurricane Sandy” at the top of your return.  The Department of Taxation will then abate any late-filing or late-payment penalties that would otherwise apply.

To qualify for this penalty waiver, taxpayers must be unable to meet their filing obligations because the financial books and records they need to file their taxes are unavailable because of hurricane damage or power outage.

The penalty waiver applies to the following returns:

·        Individual and Fiduciary Income Tax Returns (Forms 760, 763, 760PY, and 770): Individual and fiduciary income tax returns with a due date or an extended due date of November 1, 2012 will be granted a penalty waiver if the return is filed between October 29, 2012 and November 9, 2012.  Taxpayers whose original due date for the return falls on November 1 may elect to use the six-month automatic extension for filing their Virginia income tax returns as usual.  However, the six-month extension does not apply to payment of the tax.  A taxpayer who elects to use the six-month extension would need to pay at least 90% of his final tax liability by the original due date for filing the return in order to avoid any penalties.

·        Withholding Returns (Forms VA-5, VA-15 and VA-16): Withholding returns with a due date of October 30, 2012 will be granted a penalty waiver if the return is filed between October 29, 2012 and November 9, 2012.

·        Forest Products Tax Returns (Form 1034): Forest product tax returns with a due date of October 30, 2012 will be granted a penalty waiver if the return is filed between October 29, 2012 and November 9, 2012.

·        Corn Tax Returns (Form CO-1): Corn tax returns with a due date of October 31, 2012 will be granted a penalty waiver if the return is filed between October 29, 2012 and November 9, 2012.

·        Cotton Tax Returns (Form CX-1): Cotton tax returns with a due date of October 31, 2012 will be granted a penalty waiver if the return is filed between October 29, 2012 and November 9, 2012.

·        Soybean Tax Returns: Soybean tax returns with a due date of October 31, 2012 will be granted a penalty waiver if the return is filed between October 29, 2012 and November 9, 2012.

·        Sheep Tax Returns (Form SH-1): Sheep tax returns with a due date of October 31, 2012 will be granted a penalty waiver if the return is filed between October 29, 2012 and November 9, 2012.

·        Other State Taxes Administered by the Department of Taxation: An automatic penalty waiver is granted for any other state tax return filed late with the Department between October 29, 2012 and November 9, 2012.

The penalty waiver also applies to filers who use electronic funds transfer (EFT) for payment.  Affected EFT filers should contact the Department of Taxation at (804) 367-8037 if they receive notices of penalty.

Additional penalty waivers may be granted in hardship cases.  Written requests for additional waivers should be emailed to for personal tax inquiries and for business tax inquiries, or directed to:

Virginia Department of Taxation
Customer Service Section
Severe Storm Relief Extension
P.O. Box 1115
Richmond, VA 23218-1115

Sandy may be gone but there is still work to be done

Our thoughts and prayers are with all those impacted by Sandy, most of Virginians are fortunate to NOT have been in the path of major damage. Our friends, family and neighbors to the north will have many days/weeks of recovery infront of them. Please support local and national relief agencies as you are able to do so.
With things winding down here at the VA EOC I thought it would be nice to put faces to those who have been tasked with staffing the ESF 4 desk and also support the JIC.

A typical briefing held at 0700 and 1900 daily

The room was full

Fred Turck ESF 4/VDOF

Dave Jolly ESF 4/VDFP

John Campbell JIC/VDOFMark Buff JIC/VDFP

Russ Chandler ESF4 / VDFP

Steve Grainer ESF4 / VDFP

Bobby Bailey ESF4 /VDFP

Steve Counts ESF 4/ VDOF

Tim Hansbrough ESF 4 / VDFPFrom time to time especially in the early hours of the morning or late at night we had folks show up to help as needed.

Seriously, all employees of both agencies, The VA Dept of Fire Programs and the VA Dept of Forestry should be commended for their support of the Sandy Response effort. If you were deployed to the EOC, placed into service locally or fullfilled your "normal" job duties you assisted many citizens of the Commonwealth that were in need of support at this critical time. Hopefully you and your family all are ok and we all will be back to our regular job soon.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sandy Talking Points

Talking Points, Monday, October 29, 2012, 7 a.m.

Impact to Virginia
·        No storm-related deaths or serious injuries reported.

·        No storm-related traffic fatalities reported.

Potential Impact to Virginia
        Sandy is a large storm that will affect Virginia with sustained winds, rain, storm surge and coastal damage in the eastern regions; significant snowfall expected in the higher elevations of southwest Virginia.

  • Latest National Weather forecast:
·        Southside Hampton Roads: 2-3 inches of additional rain, sustained winds of 30-35 mph and gusts of 50-55 mph
·        Eastern Shore: 4-6 inches of additional rain, sustained winds of 40-45 mph and gusts of 60-65 mph and higher
·        Northern Neck: 3-4 inches of additional rain, sustained winds of 40-50 mph and gusts of 60-70 mph
·        Middle Peninsula: 2-3 inches of additional rain, sustained winds of 35 mph and gusts of 50-60 mph
·        Peninsula: 2 inches of additional rain, sustained winds of 30-35 mph and gusts of 50-55
·        Interstate 95 corridor including Richmond: ½ inch to 3 inches of additional rain, sustained winds of 30-35 mph and gusts of 45-55 mph
·        Southwest Virginia: winter storm warnings for much of this region with snow accumulations and potential for blizzard conditions in far southwest Virginia due to high winds and blowing snow
Power Outages
·        Approximately 3,000 statewide.  Mainly concentrated in pockets along Eastern Shore, Norfolk, Hampton Roads, Middle Peninsula and southside (i.e. Chesapeake, Suffolk, etc.)  Another pocket of outages in Roanoke County.

Governors Actions
·          The governor issued a limited mandatory evacuation order for low-lying areas in coastal Virginia.  This order gives authority to local government officials to determine specific locations to be evacuated and times that evacuations will start, based on best information about the storms impact.
        The governor declared a state of emergency Friday, Oct. 26, at 9:50 a.m. to help quickly get supplies, equipment and staff to those who need it.
Traffic Information
·        DC Metro closed Monday.

·        Amtrak Northeast Corridor Services to include Virginia are cancelled Monday.

·        VDOT reports the following road closures: one primary road (numbered 0-599) and 19 secondaries (numbers 600 and above) are closed as of 7 a.m.

·        The tide gate to the Midtown Tunnel in Hampton Roads has been lowered, and the tunnel is now closed to motorists. 

·        The Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel is open.  Crews are in place and are making preparations should the expected high tide require it to close.

·        Jamestown-Scotland Ferry resumed service at 3 a.m., and the Pocahontas will run until further notice.  The ferry departs the Surry dock on the hour and the Jamestown dock on the half hour.

  • Crews in the western region of the state are standing by for snow removal.  The storm is expected to cause cold weather, producing heavy snow fall in the higher elevations of western Virginia.

For a full list of road closures and conditions, click

What to watch out for:
  • If a traffic signal is out, drivers are advised to treat the intersection as a four way stop.
  • Never drive through water flowing across a road. It takes only six to 12 inches of water to float a small vehicle.
  • Never drive around barricades. Remember, the road has been closed for your safety.
  • Slow down when driving through standing water. Driving too fast through water could cause you to lose control and hydroplane.
  • Avoid flood-prone areas, especially along creeks and other low-lying areas. Water in those areas can rise quickly and without warning during heavy rains.
  • In the event of a flash flood warning for your area, seek high ground immediately.
  • Watch for debris on the roadway. If you encounter a downed power line, do not try to move the line. Downed trees may contain power lines. Contact VDOT or Dominion Virginia Power.
Messages to motorists:

  • Limit travel during height of storm.
  • Monitor local weather and traffic reports before getting into the car.
  • Before heading out the door, get the latest road conditions by calling 511, visit or download the mobile app from the 511 web site.
  • Use 9-1-1 only in emergencies. Dial #77 on cell phone to report traffic crashes or traffic emergencies to State Police.
  • State law requires headlights to be on when windshield wipers are activated.
  • Motorists must use extreme caution on the road and never attempt to drive through flood waters.
  • Remain alert to avoid fallen trees.
  • Drive free of distractions and always buckle up.

What should residents be doing now?
         Final emergency preparations should be completed now.   
        Stay tuned to local TV and radio stations for instructions and information.  Those in eastern Virginia who live in low-lying areas should be ready to evacuate if told to do so by local officials.
  • 25 shelters have been opened for residents on the Eastern Shore, Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula, and Hampton Roads localities. The best source for local shelter information is local media and local government websites.  As of 6 a.m., Monday, October 29, to include:

Localities with Open Shelters
Accomack County
City of Chesapeake
City of Colonial Heights
City of Hampton
King William County
Lancaster County
Mathews County
New Kent County
City of Newport News
City of Norfolk
Northampton County
Northumberland County
City of Portsmouth
City of Richmond
Surry County
City of Virginia Beach
York County/Poquoson

         If power is out, use flashlights, not candles.
·        Remember Carbon monoxide is a silent killer.  Do not bring generators into the house. Dont use camp stoves and lanterns without ventilation.  Never use stoves for heating.  Any of these can cause deadly buildup of carbon monoxide. If using a space or kerosene heater, practice proper safety procedures.

        Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed as long as possible to maintain the cold temperature.

Numbers to Call for Information
         2-1-1 Virginia is serving as the public inquiry number for Virginia residents.
        5-1-1 is to be used for the latest in road conditions. Only call 9-1-1 in a true emergency.
       #77 on a cell phone to report a traffic crash or traffic emergency
        Residents should call their localitys non-emergency number for updated storm-related and shelter information.  Only call 9-1-1 in a true emergency. 
State and federal preparations

·        State offices in Richmond are closed Monday, October 29, 2012.
·        Federal government in DC is closed Monday, October 29, 2012.
·        The Virginia Emergency Operations Center is coordinating the states response with increased staffing 24 hours a day.
·         Virginia State Police personnel have been pre-positioned on the Eastern Shore to assist localities with traffic and emergency response.  The Virginia State Police Search & Recovery dive teams are standing by on the Eastern Shore, Hampton, Richmond and Northern Virginia. State police are also preparing for response to snow-related traffic and emergencies in western and Southwest Virginia.

         Virginia National Guard personnel have been pre-positioned to the eastern shore and other potentially impacted areas.  Additional personnel are on state active duty.
        Chainsaw crews from the Virginia Department of Forestry are standing by with emergency response personnel to help with debris removal.
        Virginia Department of Transportation crews are ready to clear roads of debris and snow and ensure roads are safe for travel.  Crews will work in 12-hour shifts throughout the storm.
         The Virginia Department of Health is coordinating with hospitals and long-term care facilities to ensure they are prepared for storm impacts. Regional Storm watch officers are tracking and communicating with waterworks across the state.
         Close coordination is under way between the VEOC and Virginias power and telecommunications providers to handle potential disruptions in services.
        The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) incident management advance team is in the Virginia Emergency Operations Center (VEOC) to assist in coordinating response.
         Representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Department of Defense are in the VEOC to assist in coordinating response.
         211 Call toll-free for information on many topics related to the storm.
      511 - Call toll-free for the latest in road conditions and closures; or  Go online or on your smart phone for statewide storm updates.
         @vdem Twitter feed for storm updates from the VA Dept. of Emergency Management
         VAemergency Facebook page for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management

10.29 0700 hrs briefing

Most of the activity overnight occured in the tidewater area. Significant inland impacts are expected today.

Weather Forecast:
Hurricane Sandy is on northern track due east of Cape Hatteras NC. Sandy has strengthened as expected with winds now at 85 mph as she transitions to a strong Nor’Easter. Moderate to potentially severe tidal flooding is forecast for coastal VA during periods of high tides today.   The moderate to severe tidal flooding along the Eastern Shore is forecast thru Tuesday. 
Coastal Virginia and eastern shore localities remain under a high wind warning until midnight tonight for sustained winds of 35/45 mph and wind gusts to 60 mph.  In general, winds will be less severe further inland, with gusts to 40 to 45 mph expected across much of the Interstate 95 corridor including Richmond, with 35-40 mph gusts west of this region. 
Five to seven (5-7) inches of rain is expected in Hampton Roads and eight to ten (8-10) inches along the Eastern Shore.  The heaviest rainfall is expected today, Monday, and Monday night, with highest amounts over eastern Virginia near the Bay and the coast (these areas are under a Flood Watch).

• Blizzard Warning Dickenson & Buchanan Counties from Noon today until 4AM Wednesday
• Snow accumulations up to 6 inches (below 2,000 feet)
• Snow accumulations up to 1 to 2 feet in higher elevations
• Wind gusts up to 50 mph
• Winter Storm Warning & Watches far Southwest VA until 8AM Wednesday
• High Wind Warning until Wednesday Morning for areas along & west of the Blue Ridge & Northern Virginia
• Winds from 25-35 mph, Gusts to 45  mph

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Links You Might Find Helpful

The following links maybe of some interest and HELP.

Find Your Local Emergency Manager Director   

Virginia Road Condition

Traffic Cameras
Power Outages Links       

Appalachian Power Outages

Dominion Outage Map            

Dominion Outage Summary

LG&E/KU/ODP Outage Map
Northern Neck Electric Cooperative Outages

Rappahanock Coop Outage Map

Rappahanock Coop Outage Summary

Southside Electrical Cooperative


National Hurricane Center

National Weather Service