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A Tidewater-area resident chains his bike and heads to work in floodwaters near downtown in Norfolk on Monday.
Steve Helber/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Date published: 10/30/2012
Hurricane Sandy's continuous steady rain caused flooding in Hampton Roads on Monday and submerged the main road to Chincoteague Island.
The massive storm inundated low lying areas of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Poquoson, Hampton and Gloucester.
High tides peaked between 9 and 10 a.m. on Monday for most of the area. The tide was about 4 feet above normal. However, it was lower than the tidal surges associated with Isabel in 2003 and Irene last year.
The Monday evening high tide was predicted to be smaller--closer to 2 feet above normal.
Today's high tides are expected to be only slightly above normal.
With no shelters and no way to leave, emergency officials on Chincoteague Island ordered a curfew at noon Monday as Hurricane Sandy worsened, flooding streets and prompting several rescues.
"No one is to be on the streets except for emergency personnel," said Bryan Rush, emergency planning coordinator for the island of 4,000 off Virginia's Eastern Shore. He said most roads on the 7- by 3-mile island were under water, 3 feet deep in some spots.
Flooding and tidal surge forced the closure earlier Monday of a 5-mile causeway to the mainland, the island's lone exit by land.
"There is no place left for them to go," Rush said of the estimated 3,500 who had remained on the island. "We want people to shelter in place."
Farther down the Virginia coast, Hampton Roads experienced scattered power outages. Dominion Virginia Power's website said that as of 1 a.m. Monday, 3,282 customers in Southeast Virginia were without power, out of 692,000 customers. Most of those customers, 1,946, were in Norfolk.
Schools throughout the region were closed Monday, and lots of government services and historical attractions were also closed. Amtrak canceled service out of Newport News.
Nearly all inbound and outgoing flights were canceled at Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport.
In Richmond, Gov. Bob McDonnell told reporters that the worst of the flooding was over for Hampton Roads, and the forecast for the Richmond area was downgraded to 1 to 3 inches of rain and wind gusts up to 55 mph.
But he said it appeared that Northern Virginia would get hit harder than originally thought, with wind gusts of 70 to 75 mph early Tuesday morning.