Meteorologists with the National Hurricane Center on Thursday night confirmed that the tropical system that formed this week in the Atlantic had strengthened to become Hurricane Isaias, a Category 1 storm taking aim at the Bahamas.
Forecasts vary about where the storm’s path will take it, but it’s possible — probable, even — that Hampton Roads will feel some of its effects in the coming days. That could mean a few showers and wind gusts, or it could mean something more substantial and worrisome.
This region is, of course, no stranger to these events. We know the drill and what to do when a storm zeroes in on the area.
So today, we’ll spend a little time checking supplies, making sure there’s enough food and water on hand in case of emergency. We’ll check first aid supplies, maybe test a few flashlights and NOAA radios, and look at how much pet food we have.
And we’ll revisit the emergency plan we’ve established for our families to make sure everybody knows what to do in case things go south.
Chances are, it’ll be nothing. Chances are, it’ll blow by without causing a stir. We’ll get some rain and wind, maybe some inland and coastal flooding, and that’ll be that.
But readiness is crucial, just in case. So visit ready.gov or vaemergency.gov for planning tips and pay attention to official reports. This may be nothing to worry about, but there’s no reason to be caught unprepared.
On Tuesday, the Chesapeake Police Department responded to a call about a child left unattended in a vehicle on a day that the heat index reached 110 degrees.
They discovered an 8-month-old girl who was unresponsive. She was rushed to a hospital and pronounced dead.
That evening, in Virginia Beach, emergency responders were called to a house where a child under the age of 5 had drowned in a backyard swimming pool.
One day. Two children. Such heartbreak over nearly incomprehensible loss.
While there may be little in common between the two events, and rendering no verdict about responsibility here, these tragedies remind us of the duty we have to care for and protect the youngest among us — and how that challenge is greater in these extraordinary times.
Nobody should ever leave a child in a hot car — it’s a criminal act, with good reason — but extreme heat can be dangerous for children under the watchful eye of their parents. They require special attention in those conditions.
Likewise, summer inevitably brings a story of a child drowning in a backyard pool. They can be a godsend in the lazy, hazy days of July and August — especially in a time of social distancing — but they pose a serious risk to kids that homeowners must never forget.
Children can make it difficult to keep close watch on them, especially with so many distractions in a world changed by the pandemic. But these tragedies serve as an awful reminder of that responsibility and the need for vigilance.
There’s something strange landing in mailboxes in Virginia and across the country: seeds. Specifically, unsolicited boxes of seeds that appear to have originated in China.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services issued a news release on July 24 warning about them, echoing consumer notices from other states and the U.S. Department of Agriculture about the very strange mailers.
Their message: Do not plant them. In fact, officials ask anyone receiving them to not open the bag that contains the seeds, do not put them in the trash or compost or expose them to the environment.
Instead, seal the seeds and their packaging in a Ziploc bag and submit a report to the Office of Plant Industry Services at the office website or by emailing ReportAPest@vdacs.virginia.gov.
Invasive plants can have a devastating effect on the environment, including local crops, so please take the warning seriously.
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