Those of us that are a certain age got some great news last week that was a throwback to the 1970’s, and frankly news we never thought we would hear again. The Worrell 1000 Sailboat race is on again after an absence for nearly 2 decades!
This week instead of a photo memory submission we are bringing you a bit of news on this Monday morning regarding Sandbridge beach and the ongoing beach nourishment being pushed back from this spring to next fall which has local residents concerned.
Governor Ralph Northam lifted the mandatory evacuation order for the Sandbridge area so that businesses and residents could return to their properties and begin returning things to normal.
We have contacted our returning and arriving guests to advise that we will be able to accommodate their return by 4 PM tomorrow (Saturday).
Access to Sandbridge is not restricted.
On Friday morning Hurricane Florence came ashore in the Wilmington, North Carolina area, but effects of the storm are still being felt in Sandbridge.
Rain bands are continuing to affect Sandbridge, winds are strong and steady, waves and tides are running higher than normal at this time, and ocean over wash is being experienced on Sandfiddler Road in several areas. Intermittent rain is predicted to affect our area through Sunday, and there is strong possibility of flooded roads leading into Sandbridge as well as on the beach.
A Tropical Storm Warning, Storm Surge Warning, A State of Emergency, and a Mandatory Evacuation, a Flash Flood Watch, and now a Tornado Warning is in place for Sandbridge. Conditions are still dangerous in our area.
Sandbridge remains under a mandatory evacuation. The statements issued by the City of Virginia Beach indicate that the evacuation order may remain in place at least until Saturday.
All incoming guests scheduled to arrive on Today, Saturday and Sunday of this week are advised not to travel to Sandbridge unless and until they hear directly from Sandbridge Blue that roads are safe to travel on, and that their property is indeed undamaged and able to accommodate them.
If the projected path of the storm continues it would appear that the impacts on our area may diminishing, but again as evidenced by the tornado warning that was issued this morning. It is still dangerous and conditions are not conducive to a relaxing vacation at this time.
We are hopeful the local emergency management authorities implement a scaled re-entry process that will allow us to prepare the properties properly for the arriving guests. Many of our employees have evacuated the area which limits our ability to provide the services that our owners and guests have come to expect.
We continue to ask for your patience as things return to normal over the next few days.
Once the mandatory evacuation order is lifted we will closely inspect all properties to note any damage. We then will work to undo preparations for the storm and make sure the property is clean and ready for arriving guests.
Again arriving guests will be contacted to advise that your property is available and ready for your arrival.
We will provide another update when the evacuation order is lifted or on Saturday morning by 9:00 AM
On Thursday morning Hurricane Florence was still some 200 miles from the southeast coast of North Carolina, but effects of the storm were being felt in Sandbridge.
Rain bands are beginning to affect the area, waves and tides are running higher than normal at this time. Wind is strong and steady and making uncomfortable conditions. Steady and heavy rain is predicted to affect our area through Friday as will windy conditions.
A Tropical Storm Warning, Storm Surge Watch, A State of Emergency, and a Mandatory Evacuation continue to be in place as of this morning. A Flash Flood watch is also now in place.
Our focus now turns to the guests that are scheduled to arrive on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of this week. If the projected path of the storm is accurate it would appear that the impacts on our area may be less than originally expected and we may be able to get back to normal business by the first of next week.
We expect the mandatory evacuation to remain in effect for the next few days. Arriving guests should not plan on coming to Sandbridge until you hear from Sandbridge Blue directly advising that the evacuation order has been lifted, and that your specific property is ready for your arrival.
Arriving guests should keep in mind that gas supplies are extremely limited, basic needs provided through local stores are unavailable at this time (Bread, water, ice, milk, eggs, etc.), and conditions are not conducive to a relaxing vacation at this time. In addition all of our properties have been prepped for the storm so pools are turned off, outdoor furniture is stacked inside houses, items are tied down, and many of our houses are boarded. Please give us the opportunity to prepare for your arrival before coming to the beach!
Your patience is appreciated as we work though this process. Many of our employees have evacuated the area which limits our ability to provide the services that our owners and guests have come to expect.
Our office is planning on being open at least part of the day on Thursday.
We will provide another update on Friday morning by 9:00 AM (Weather Permitting)
A Tropical Storm Watch, A Storm Surge Watch, and a Mandatory Evacuation remain in effect for Sandbridge
As of Wednesday morning the track of Hurricane Florence is still predicted to take the storm well to our south, but preparations continue here for the storm.
As of 8:00 AM today a state of emergency and a mandatory evacuation are in effect for the Sandbridge area. The Governor of Virginia have issued a directive to all visitors and residents to evacuate the Sandbridge area effective 8:00 AM today in advance of the approach and landfall of Hurricane Florence.
All Properties managed by Sandbridge Blue are affected by this order.
All guests in residence were contacted this morning and advised of the requirement to leave and not plan on returning. All guests that still remain in properties will be followed up with this today. Guests that are expected to arrive this weekend are advised not to come until they hear from us directly about travel conditions and any property damage.
Florence continues to be a very powerful hurricane and is expected to be the strongest Hurricane to ever hit the coast of North Carolina. While the majority of forecast tracks predict the storm will make landfall on the southern coast of North Carolina, the storm is still more than 1000 miles away and even a slight change of direction over the next two days could bring the storm over our area.
Even on the projected path the storm is expected to bring torrential rain, heavy wind, and tidal flooding. Effects from the storm may be seen through Monday of next week for our area.
We expect free movement around the area today as guests continue to depart in an orderly manner, but restrictions will be put in place tomorrow (Wednesday).
If you decide to come to the beach, be advised that gasoline is in very short supply here and many gas stations have already run out of fuel. Be sure you fill up before coming into Virginia Beach!
We expect to operate the company on a regular schedule today (Tuesday), but may be required to close tomorrow by local authorities.
Sandbridge Road still had water blocking normal access on Sunday afternoon, but winds are subsiding as evening is arriving and flood waters are starting to recede. Damage assessments and clean up can now begin.
You can see from these pictures that the impact of Hurricane Matthew was definite in Sandbridge.
Here’s a picture of water across Sandbridge road taken earlier today.
Flooding is most prevalent on the north end of Sandbridge as evidenced here above.
Hurricane Matthew is now known as post tropical cyclone Matthew, but the storm continues to cause problems for us here in Sandbridge today.
The storm at 8 AM was located 60 miles to the east southeast of Cape Hatteras, NC and was moving east northeast at 14 miles per hour away from the U.S. and is expected to weaken quickly.
The storm came close enough to Sandbridge to cause widespread power outages, flood roads from heavy rains, and bring us near hurricane force winds overnight.
As of this morning Sandbridge road was closed to thru traffic due to flooding.
The storm effects are expected to subside later today and tonight.
Due to the conditions Sandbridge Blue will be closed today. We will begin damage assessments of our properties on Monday.
Hurricane Matthew remains a strong and dangerous storm that has impacted thousands of people and created millions of dollars in damage and loss of life. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the people affected by the storm to our south.
At this point all projected tracks of Hurricane Matthew predict the storm with strafe the coast of Florida, and then run along the coast of Georgia and South Carolina for the next two days before taking an abrupt turn to the right and out to sea where it will weaken and turn even further to the south away from the United States.
While this is a positive outcome for the Sandbridge area we urge all visitors to use vigilance over the next few days and stay turned to future forecasts.
Sandbridge Blue will continue to monitor the storm and advise of any changes in the storm until the storm is no longer a threat.