News to Know for March 18: Severe storms possible; Chesterfield expands Phase 1B; Vaccine registration easier

News to Know for March 18: Severe storms possible; Chesterfield expands Phase 1B; Vaccine registration easier
Forecast: A rainy day, with thunderstorms later in the day.

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Here’s a quick look at our top headlines before you start your day!

Storms Possible Today, Mostly Cloudy With Showers

Today in our area will be mostly cloudy with showers likely. Strong to Severe thunderstorm threat mainly after 4 pm.. through 10 p.m. Lows in the mid 40s, highs lower 60s.

The NBC12 First Alert Weather team continues to closely watch the potential for strong to severe storms on Thursday. An overnight update has continued a trend in DROPPING the threat lower in Central VA.

First Alert Weather Day: Severe Storms Possible

Now, the Storm Prediction Center only has a small sliver of Southern VA in a 3 out of 5 “Enhanced” Risk of Severe Weather.

Timing: 3pm-11pm

Threats: Wind, Rain, Lightning, Tornadoes

Storms Across The South

Scattered severe thunderstorms are expected Thursday for portions of eastern Georgia, through the Carolinas into extreme southeast Virginia, according to the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center. All severe hazards are possible. Other isolated severe storms are possible from southern Ohio into the central Appalachians.

The biggest overnight threat of tornadoes remained over Alabama, according to the weather service, but severe storms and tornadoes were possible from east-central Georgia and northeast across South and North Carolina later in the day Thursday.

A storm chaser captured video of a possible tornado near Woodville, Mississippi on Wednesday, March 17, 2021.
A storm chaser captured video of a possible tornado near Woodville, Mississippi on Wednesday, March 17, 2021. (Source: Viewer)
Apparent tornado captured crossing U.S. 82 in Billingsley area
Apparent tornado captured crossing U.S. 82 in Billingsley area

While nearly 16 million people in the Southeast could see powerful storms, the prediction center said, a region of about 3 million stretching from southeastern Arkansas and northeastern Louisiana across Mississippi into Alabama was at high risk for big twisters that stay on the ground for miles, straight winds up to 80 mph (129 kph) and destructive hail.

Chesterfield Expands Phase 1B

The Chesterfield Health District said it will now be expanding its vaccination clinics to include everyone in Phase 1b.

Residents in Chesterfield, Colonial Heights and Powhatan who want the vaccine need to make sure they are pre-registered online or by calling 1-877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682).

vaccine
vaccine (Source: WECT)

Now that the health district has access to additional vaccines and there is an effort to vaccinate more people, CHD is now accepting residents who fall under the Phase 1b category.

As the health district opens up vaccinations to all of 1b, CHD is working with state and local officials on when would be a good time to open vaccinations to those in Phase 1c.

To learn more about Phase 1b, click here.

Vaccine Registration Made Easier!

The Richmond-Henrico Health District has made COVID-19 vaccine registration easier for seniors.

Seniors will no longer have to wait for an email or phone call to schedule a vaccination appointment.

phone
phone (Source: Pixabay)

They can now call the RHHD COVID-19 hotline at 804-205-3501 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to schedule an appointment directly.

Thousands Attend VSU Vaccine Clinic

Thousands of people from Chesterfield, Colonial Heights and the Crater Health District waited in line outside Virginia State University’s Multi-Purpose Center in Ettrick to receive their COVID-19 vaccine.

The new mass vaccination clinic opened on Wednesday to welcome thousands of people that are pre-registered for the vaccine and have received appointments.

Thousands wait in line to get their COVID-19 vaccine at Virginia State University.
Thousands wait in line to get their COVID-19 vaccine at Virginia State University. (Source: Source; NBC1)

The center will be open Monday through Saturday for those that are pre-registered and received appointments.

This site is one of four new mass vaccination clinics opening around the Commonwealth to increase vaccine distribution.

Atlanta Attacks Update

Asian Americans were already worn down by a year of pandemic-fueled racist attacks when a white gunman was charged with attacking three Atlanta-area massage parlors and killing eight people, most of them Asian women.

Hundreds of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders turned to social media to air their anger, sadness, fear and hopelessness. The hashtag #StopAsianHate was a top trending topic on Twitter hours after the shootings that happened Tuesday evening.

After dropping off flowers Jesus Estrella, left, and Shelby stand in support of the Asian and Hispanic community outside Young's Asian Massage Wednesday, March 17, 2021, in Acworth, Ga. Asian Americans, already worn down by a year of racist attacks fueled by the pandemic, are reeling but trying to find a path forward in the wake of the horrific shootings at three Atlanta-area massage businesses that left eight people dead, most of them Asian women.
After dropping off flowers Jesus Estrella, left, and Shelby stand in support of the Asian and Hispanic community outside Young's Asian Massage Wednesday, March 17, 2021, in Acworth, Ga. Asian Americans, already worn down by a year of racist attacks fueled by the pandemic, are reeling but trying to find a path forward in the wake of the horrific shootings at three Atlanta-area massage businesses that left eight people dead, most of them Asian women. (Source: Curtis Compton /Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Many were also outraged that the suspect, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, was not immediately charged with hate crimes.

Authorities said Long told police the attack was not racially motivated, and he claimed that he targeted the spas because of a “sex addiction.” Six of the seven slain women were identified as Asian.

More People Can Attend Graduations

Governor Ralph Northam says crowd sizes will be increased for graduations in Virginia.

Wednesday, Governor Northam said schools can hold in-door ceremonies as long as there or no more than 500 people or 30% capacity, whichever is less.

(Source: KEYC, File)

Ceremonies can be held outdoors with up to 5,000 people or 30% capacity, whichever is less.

Those who attend graduation must wear face masks and social distancing must be in place. Preliminary graduation guidelines can be found, here.

Hanover Teacher Is Finalist For Award

A Hanover County Public Schools teacher is one of four finalists in Virginia for an award regarded as the country’s top honor for math and science teachers.

Whitney Wells-Cornfield teaches 5th grade at South Anna Elementary school.

Whitney Wells-Cornfield
Whitney Wells-Cornfield (Source: Hanover County Public Schools)

She’s up for the 2020 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

The award recognizes educators who have deep knowledge of the subjects and the ability to motivate their students in those areas.

Final Thought

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not - Andre Gide

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