RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A City of Richmond press release Sunday night said that crews are continuing efforts to remove debris from streets as a result of Thursday’s severe thunderstorms.
More than 50 crews worked to open blocked streets and removed over 430 tons of debris.
Tremendous progress was made and over 156 streets have been addressed.
The City believes there are only about three remaining streets with blockage. Efforts continue in partnership with Dominion to address those areas. As the overall clean-up effort continues the amount of debris that remains to be removed is substantial throughout the city and will likely be hundreds more tonnage.
The release said that four-way stop signs will continue being placed in areas where traffic signals have been affected. As previously reported, residents should treat intersections with non-functioning traffic signals as four-way stops.The city is working as quickly as possible to clean streets and ensure the are open so that right of ways are passable and safe.
City crews continue coordinating their efforts with Dominion Virginia Power during this clean-up. Dominion crews are needed in order to safely remove debris intertwined with downed trees and other debris.
As reported previously, Dominion advises residents to stay at least 30 feet away from downed wires. Residents should continue reporting outages to Dominion Virginia Power by calling 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357). Restoration updates can also be found at www.dom.com.
“Considering the amount of significant damage that we’ve experienced, we are very grateful that there were no fatalities related to this storm and that our recovery efforts are progressing quickly,” said Mayor Jones. “The main thing we want to emphasize as the recovery response continues is for people to remain safe by staying away from downed power lines and driving very cautiously where traffic signals are not yet operational.”
In a previous release, the city provided a list of safety measures for residents, some of which pertained to traffic lights:
- If a traffic signal is out, drivers should stagger movement through the intersection and treat it as a four-way stop. State Code requires everyone to STOP when approaching a signal or intersection that is inoperable. Please obey this law.
- Do not drive around street barricades. The road has been closed for safety reasons.
- Do not drive through standing water and use caution when driving on all wet roads and pavement.
- Watch for debris on the roadway.
- Dial 3-1-1 (or 646-7000) to report non-life-threatening emergencies and downed trees.
- Call 9-1-1 only for emergencies.
For those residents without power and resorting to alternative power sources, the city cautioned not to connect generators directly to your home’s wiring. Connecting a portable electric generator directly to your household wiring can be deadly to you and others. A generator that is directly connected to your home’s wiring may ‘back feed’ onto the power lines connected to your home. This can lead to fires and other problems.
Otherwise, residents without power were also reminded to take precautions regarding food safety and medications that require refrigeration. While power is out, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature. The refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4-hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will keep the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half-full) if the door remains closed. Frozen foods should be kept well below 32 degrees Fahrenheit and refrigerated foods should be kept below 41 degrees Fahrenheit. If at any point the food in your refrigerator was above 40ºF for 2-hours or more, it is not safe to eat and you must discard it.
If you have medicines such as insulin that require refrigeration you should call your pharmacy to talk about what options are available. According to product labels from U.S. insulin manufacturers, it is recommended that insulin be stored in a refrigerator at approximately 36º to 46º F. Insulin products contained in vials or cartridges supplied by manufacturers may be left unrefrigerated at a temperature between 59ºF and 86ºF for up to 28 days. Check with your pharmacist to be sure.
For residents cleaning their own personal property, the release asked that they place yard debris, like limbs and brush, near your property line at the curb or near the alley for collection. Yard debris should not be placed in the street, alley or on the sidewalk. Those choosing to dispose of their yard debris on their own can take it to East Richmond Road Convenience Center, 3800 E. Richmond Road. Beginning Saturday, hours are being extended to include Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Regular hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
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