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Sandy not yet ready to leave Virginia
Question of the Day
RICHMOND | Superstorm Sandy was set to stick around Virginia for another day on Tuesday, bringing much more tame rain and winds and dumping snow on the state's mountainous areas.
While most of Hampton Roads was spared more than tidal flooding on Monday, conditions were worse on Virginia's Eastern Shore.
On 7-by-3-mile Chincoteague Island, crews prepared Tuesday to assess the storm's impact on the tourist town, where most roads were under water and the only exit – a 5-mile causeway – was closed for most of the day Monday. The causeway has reopened but a curfew remains in effect.
"We're still getting a handle on it. Some parts of the Eastern Shore are still a concern," said Bob Spieldenner, spokesman for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
Northern Virginia continued to be hit with high winds and rain. About 112,000 of the state's more than 131,000 power outages were in northern Virginia.
"They're still having issues up in northern Virginia. It's not done there yet," Spieldenner said.
Snow began falling on Monday in far southwest Virginia and in other high elevations was expected to continue on Tuesday. Blizzard warnings were issued for a handful of counties.
President Barack Obama issued a federal emergency declaration for Virginia to help state and local governments and other agencies cover the costs of their response.
About 650 Virginia National Guard members, called up on Sunday by McDonnell, were scattered throughout the state. In Norfolk, they helped transport a resident to the hospital and others to shelter. On the Eastern Shore, they helped more than a dozen residents get to shelters and helped firefighters travel through high water.
Spieldenner said 280 roads, mostly secondary routes, were closed around the state Tuesday morning, mostly due to downed trees or high water.
Shoppers cleared shelves of generators, groceries and other supplies ahead of the storm. Diane Blanken and her family shopped unsuccessfully for a generator for their Glade Spring home, hoping to save a freezer full of beef if they lose power. She has two children, both pre-school age, and one on the way. She said life can be frustrating without power, "but people are tenacious around here."
Spieldenner said residents heeded warnings about the storm's dangers, noting that there have been no storm-related fatalities.
"People were staying in for the most part. That's very, very helpful" she said.
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