Petersburg prepares for Ida remnants, future storms

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 4:38 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 1, 2021 at 4:56 PM EDT
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PETERSBURG, Va. (WWBT) - Petersburg is not taking any chances when it comes to remnants of Hurricane Ida; it was under a tornado warning around 1 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, and there were reports of a funnel cloud.

Since Tuesday, Petersburg has been bracing for the remnants of Ida.

“We’ve pre-staged some of our road signs, we’ve pre-staged some of our vehicles,” said Petersburg Police Chief Travis Christian.

Parts of Petersburg are very much prone to flooding, and this time around, with the damage seen in the Gulf Coast, city leaders want to be ready for anything.

“Typically, flooding has been our problem here in our city where we’ve had to shut off roads and reroute traffic,” said Chief Christian.

Petersburg is hoping to improve its response to future weather events through a long-term storm management plan.

“We have an antiquated system terracotta clay pipes dating back to the founding of the city. We’re aware of that; we have a contractor come in and do a study and tell us about the worst areas,” said city manager Stuart Turille.

Turille says they will take that study to eventually repair and upgrade parts of the infrastructure. The multi-million dollar undertaking would be funded through American Recovery Act money and possible grants.

“We’re going to plan and act, and these events just point out and highlight the urgency of the need for long-term planning,” Turille said.

In the meantime, Christian says crews are paying extra close attention to spots like Old Towne, Bollingbrook and Bank Street areas often overrun with water.

“As we watch the weather move up the coast, we’ll continue to keep our guys and our staff, as well as city staff. We’ll always be on standby until we see the weather clear out throughout our area,” the Chief said.

He adds if Petersburg residents need storm assistance, to contact 911 or the department’s non-emergency number at 804-732-4222.

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