Hurricane Ian's likely path. Courtesy of National Hurricane Center.

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With Hurricane Ian projected to impact portions of far Southwest Virginia beginning Friday, Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Wednesday declared a state of emergency. 

“Hurricane Ian is a large, powerful storm, and current predictions indicate that it may impact parts of Virginia later this week into early next week,” Youngkin said in a statement. “We want to ensure that our communities have the resources needed to respond to and recover from any potential effects from the storm.

Recognizing that the storm track is still uncertain, Youngkin nevertheless encourages all Virginians and visitors to make a plan, have supplies on hand, and follow official sources for the latest forecast information and guidance.

The category 5 storm, which made landfall in Florida Wednesday afternoon bringing heavy rain and pushing a powerful storm surge, is expected to weaken in the coming days as it moves through Georgia and the Carolinas, bringing rain to the southwestern part of Virginia later this week. Rain will be likely for all of central Virginia Friday night.

Youngkin’s state of emergency declaration allows the commonwealth to mobilize resources and equipment needed for response and recovery efforts. Virginians should be prepared for the potential of severe rainfall, flooding, wind damage, tornadoes, and other storm-related impacts. 

The Virginia Emergency Support Team (VEST) is actively monitoring the situation and coordinating resources and information to prepare for this storm. The Virginia Emergency Operations Center (VEOC) will coordinate preparedness, response, and recovery efforts with local, state, and federal officials. 

The full text of Executive Order 22 is available here.  

The project path of Hurricane Ian. Courtesy of National Hurricane Center.

Markus Schmidt is a reporter for Cardinal News. Reach him at markus@cardinalnews.org or 804-822-1594.