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Thursday, January 21, 2016

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Mayor Jones Provides Update on City’s Winter Storm Preparedness Actions

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the City of Richmond until 7 a.m. Jan. 24. Mayor Jones and City officials urge residents to prepare now for winter weather, as City government winter storm preparations are well underway. The Mayor and the City’s Chief Administrative Officer Selena Cuffee-Glenn have held several storm preparation meetings with all agencies of City Government, Richmond Public Schools, Richmond City Sheriff’s office, Richmond Ambulance Authority, Richmond Redevelopment Housing Authority, Richmond City Health District and GRTC.

“The safety of our residents is paramount, so we began to prepare for this storm early this week,” said Mayor Jones. “To coordinate our storm response, the City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will open at 9 a.m. on Jan. 22. In preparation for any power outages or heating failures, we are opening two storm relief shelters at 10 a.m. on Jan 22; one on the city’s Northside at Linwood Holton Elementary School, 1600 West Laburnum Avenue, and one on the city’s Southside at J. H. Blackwell Elementary School, 300 East 15th Street. I would like to thank Richmond Public Schools for working with us in providing shelter space and providing food for residents seeking refuge.”

Residents are reminded to bring any medications, toiletries, and items needed for infants and seniors to the shelters with them. Firearms are not permitted. Residents traveling to either of the two City shelters may bring their cats and dogs with them and Richmond Animal Care and Control will transport these pets to the City animal shelter.

As a result of the forecasted inclement weather, all City activities and meetings scheduled on the evening of Jan. 22 through Jan. 24 have been cancelled. Other City storm preparation actions include the treatment of bridges, hills and primary routes. Leaf collection is currently suspended as the same vehicles are used to remove snow and attend to city streets. Leaf collection will resume next week. Refuse collection that was delayed to Friday as a result of the Monday holiday will begin at 4 a.m. on Jan. 22. The City’s 3-1-1 call center will operate on a 24-hour schedule until the event ends to help provide residents with vital information. The City’s vehicle fleet is being checked for readiness and to determine which vehicles may need to be outfitted with snow chains. There will be a dedicated mechanical team to provide snow chain application support to City vehicles.

“I will continue monitoring current conditions and requesting targeted forecast updates from the National Weather Service. As the intensity and type of winter precipitation is uncertain at this time, I will make a decision regarding a possible local state of emergency once more information has been supplied,” said Mayor Jones.

The declaration of a local state of emergency empowers the City with enhanced procurement authority beyond what is normally granted in the City Charter and provides more flexibility to City government when responding to a weather event. The declaration also places the City in consideration for possible costs reimbursements from the State if the event becomes sizeable enough to trigger State and Federal reimbursements.

“I encourage residents to remain at home to allow City crews to safely clean streets. If travel must be done, motorist should be mindful of snow plows and refrain from parking on designated snow routes. With the potential of significant winter weather, I again urge residents to prepare ahead of time for this storm and to make an emergency supply kit to include essential supplies that will last at least three days,” continued Mayor Jones.

For up-to-date information and additional instructions from the City of Richmond during this weather event, please visit www.Richmondgov.com, follow the City on Twitter @CityRichmondVA, and stay tuned to local radio and television stations.

Posted by Office of the Press Secretary to the Mayor at 5:19 PM


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