Many coastal communities have ordered mandatory evacuations and emergency service personnel have been mobilized as the region prepares for Hurricane Irene. Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-Va.) is warning Irene could be as bad—if not worse—than Hurricane Isabel eight years ago.
The governor is asking all Virginians to take this storm seriously by stocking up on food, water, generators, and finding alternative travel routes to the main roads.
"Tropical storm force winds can down trees, down power lines, knock out power, and so everybody in the state, not just along the coast, needs to be prepared for an event that could cause them and their families significant hardship," says McDonnell.
The governor is reminding Virginians about Hurricane Isabel, when some went without power for days—even weeks. He also warns businesses not to engage in some of the price-gouging practices seen during Isabel and its aftermath.