Mayor Jones declares local state of emergency for Richmond

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones declared a local state of emergency for the City of Richmond Saturday afternoon in preparation for Hurricane Sandy.

The declaration allows the City to activate emergency operations and mobilize city resources. It also lets the City use emergency procurement policies, as needed.

"We're here to say that today is a day of preparation. Today is a day to get ready. Today is a day to get things in order so we'll be ready when the storm comes," said Mayor Dwight Jones. "We're asking the citizens of Richmond to do what they can to get prepared."

The mayor urged citizens to clear out leaves, create an emergency supply kits and secure items that could be blown away by high winds. Jones asked citizens to take the proper precautions Saturday in advance of the storm, whose impact is expected to be felt beginning Sunday.

The city will activate its Emergency Operations Center at 2400 Hermitage Road at 8 a.m. Sunday and use the site as the coordination center for city services.

The City has also designated Linwood Holton Elementary School (1600 West Laburnum Avenue) and J. H. Blackwell Elementary School (1600 Everett Street) as Emergency Relief Shelters, beginning at 8 a.m. on Sunday for anyone that may be displaced by the storm.

The city will also open two shelters at 8 a.m. Sunday. One will be located at Linwood Holton Elementary School at 1600 West Laburnum Ave. The other will be at J.H. Blackwell Elementary open at 8am Sunday. The shelters will provide food, water and cots.

Richmond Police will have extra staff in place beginning Sunday afternoon. 311 service begins at 8 a.m. Sunday, as well.

The Freedom House Conrad Center is currently open as a homeless shelter through 6:30 p.m. on Monday.

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