WAYNESBORO, Va. (WVIR) - As Hurricane Florence creeps closer and closer to the East Coast, people in central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley are on high alert and are preparing for the worst.

The city of Waynesboro is doing what it can to help its citizens prepare.

Ahead of this projected hurricane, Waynesboro is providing free sandbags to homeowners in hopes of mitigating the large-scale anticipated flooding.

The city has two locations where people can pick up bags, fill them with sand, and load them into their vehicles. One is on Brookwood Lane, and the other is at the intersection of Arch Avenue and Main Street.

This is something that homeowners say the city has done for a number of big storms recently that they really appreciate and say makes a big difference.

The mayor says that on Tuesday night alone, the city distributed more than 300 bags.

“Take what you need and need what you take, and be courteous to your fellow neighbors who are also going to have similar needs,” Terry Short, the mayor of Waynesboro, said. “And, you know, Waynesboro is a city of great resolve and determination and tremendous generosity.”

The city says it plans to keep replenishing the sand piles as quickly as it can and as long as it can until the storm hits.

For the latest updates on where to pick up the sand and other emergency preparedness information in Waynesboro, click here.

9/12/2018 Updated Release from the City of Waynesboro:

Updated forecasts from the National Hurricane Center as of 8 a.m. this morning [Wednesday, Sept. 12] indicate that Hurricane Florence is now projected to take a southerly turn after landfall near the North and South Carolina boarder taking the heaviest rain and winds into central and western North and South Carolina. While this path is subject to change quickly once the storm passes over land, the current projection would greatly lessen the impact to Waynesboro.

A potential for 4-6 inches of rainfall is currently forecast with higher amounts possible along the mountains. Runoff and upsloping effects from the mountains can increase rainfall and drainage into the South River watershed. We are also taking into consideration the amount of rain that has already fallen over the last week and what is forecast over the next 24-36 hours in advance of Florence. The ground is saturated and any rain that falls will impact the river. Therefore, we cannot let our guard down and preparedness activities will continue.

Sand and sandbags continue to be available for residents and business owners at the Municipal Parking lot at Arch Avenue and Main Street, downtown, and in the cul-de-sac on Brookside Cove in the Club Court and River Shores neighborhood.

Residents and business owners with properties in flood prone areas are asked to remain alert and be prepared to move if an evacuation is ordered.

The emergency shelter at Kate Collins Middle School is on standby but will not be opened at this time. Should the need for a shelter be determined it will be
announced through media sources, the city webpage, and through the city’s emergency notification system. If you have not registered your cell phone and email with our emergency notification system you may do so by going to the Emergency Management page of the city website at the following link

Also, residents or businesses with drainage culverts, storm water drain inlets, and street curbing are asked to make sure they are clear of debris and yard waste to allow for maximum efficiency of the storm water system during the storm.