News to Know for Sept. 1: Severe weather from Ida; Numbers for emergencies; Bus driver bonuses
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Take a look at our top headlines before you start your day.
Severe Weather From Ida Remnants
Warm and Humid today, with scattered strong storms likely this afternoon into the evening. Tornadoes are possible.
Today is a FIRST ALERT WEATHER DAY: Ida’s remnants brings a tornado and heavy rain risk. Partly to mostly cloudy with scattered afternoon and evening strong storms. Timing: 1 p.m. -11 p.m. Stay weather aware. Highs in the mid 80s.
Not an all-day rain but tropical downpours could be strong.
Some Central Virginia schools have made decisions to close or change learning plans for Wednesday ahead of potential severe weather brought in by the remnants of Hurricane Ida.
Ida is expected to track just north and west of Central Virginia into Wednesday. This positioning will place our area in the right front quadrant of the storm, which is the area in a tropical system most favorable for strong storms and tornadoes.
A running list of closures can be found, here.
State Of Emergency In Va.
Governor Ralph Northam has declared a State of Emergency to respond to expected impacts from Tropical Depression Ida, which is forecast to cause heavy rains and potential flooding along the I-81 and I-66 corridors, according to meteorologists.
Areas in the far southwest region have already experienced heavy rainfall in recent days, leading to flash floods.
There is also a risk of tornadoes across the Commonwealth late Tuesday night through Wednesday.
The full text of Executive Order 81 is available here.
Numbers To Call For Emergencies
Wednesday is a First Alert Weather Day as central Virginia prepares to deal with potential severe weather from the remnants of Ida, which continue to move up through the U.S.
Petersburg first responders are on stand-by to potentially block roads and keep people away from the parts of the city that flood. The Department of Public Works has also gone through and cleared out storm drains ahead of the rain.
- If you have issues near your home like flooding or fallen trees, call the city’s street operations at 804-733-2415.
- If it’s after 5 p-m.. call their non-emergency number at 804-732-4222.
- If there’s an emergency like a fire or you have to leave your home due to flooding, call 911.
State Workers’ Vaccine Requirements
Starting Sept. 1, state employees must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
The executive order will require proof of vaccination for at-will, classified, waged and other salaried employees in the executive branch including workers at the Department of Motor Vehicles, Virginia Employment Commission and Virginia State Police.
Like other vaccine mandates seen so far, the state does have an exemption for medical or religious reasons, but those folks will have to be regularly tested for COVID-19.
Failure to comply is considered a safety violation and employees will face consequences. The full executive directive can be read, here.
RHHD Opens Four Vaccine Hubs
Four new COVID-19 vaccination hubs will begin serving Richmond and Henrico health districts in September, according to a release from the health department.
The hubs will work in coordination with ongoing pop-up vaccine events with large employers, faith communities and community organizations.
Hubs are located in Richmond’s downtown and southside and in eastern and western Henrico to provide access to multiple communities.
‘Martinsville 7′ Pardoned
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has granted a posthumous pardon to seven Black men from Martinsville who were executed 70 years ago for the alleged rape of a white woman.
Family members of Francis DeSales Grayson, Booker T. Millner, Frank Hairston, James Hairston, Howard Lee Hairston, John C. Taylor, and Joe Hampton, known as the Martinsville 7, say the men were interrogated under duress, without the presence of a lawyer, and their confessions were coerced under threat of mob violence.
Four of the men were executed by electric chair on February 2nd, 1951, and three of the men were executed on February 5th, 1951 in Richmond.
The alleged crime happened in January 1949. It was the largest mass execution in Virginia history. Most of the men were in their late teens or early 20s.
Police are searching for a man who they say has a mental health condition and needs medication.
Stephen Harold Cleaton, a 37-year-old man, was riding with a family member and became agitated. Police say the driver pulled over on Interstate 64 in an attempt to calm Cleaton, but he ran from the vehicle.
The vehicle was parked on I-64 near mile marker 200, near Interstate 295. Police say Cleaton likely has cuts on his feet.
Anyone with additional information is asked to call Henrico Police at 804-501-5000 or your local police agency, if outside of Henrico.
Bus Driver Bonuses
Hopewell City Public Schools is offering a retention bonus to all current and new bus drivers.
HCPS said all current and future bus drivers employed during the 2021-22 school year will get a bonus of up to $4,000 after completing a full year of service.
Drivers that started the year with Hopewell will get the bonus before the next school year begins. Drivers that start during the year will get the bonus after the year mark.
VCU To Test Emergency Alert System
Virginia Commonwealth University will conduct a full test of its emergency alter and communication systems on the Monroe Park and MCV campuses, along with VCU Police Department’s headquarters on Sept. 1.
The test will involve a one-minute siren activation, text messages, Alertus boxes, mass email, digital signs, desktop alerts, LiveSafe, VCU Mobile, social media and VCU Alert website information.
All of these methods are used to alert students, staff, visitors and the community.
A message notifying of the test will go out 10 minutes before on via text message. The test is scheduled to start at noon. There will also be a text notifying of the test starting and then one for its conclusion.
Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else - Judy Garland
Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.
Want NBC12’s top stories in your inbox each morning? Subscribe here.