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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WOOD) - Editors note: WOOD TV8 sister station WAVY is in the middle of the storm. 24 Hour News 8 sent reporter Joe LaFurgey, photojournalist Ron Swanson and producer Brandon Lacic to Virginia to both help their coverage and provide an eyewitness account of what's going on with Hurricane Irene.
On an inlet that leads to the Norfolk Naval Shipyards, cranes streched into the sky, dropping boats into a large warehouse that locals call a boat hotel. It's part of the scramble in Portsmouth to get everything tied down, covered up or moved out before Irene hits sometime late Saturday afternoon.
It's one of the scenes we noticed as we rolled into town to cover something most reporters, especially those who work in the Midwest, never get to experience.
But this isn't just any hurricane. Her name is Irene and she's already being called historic.
Surf's up along the coast. The swell before the storm created some big waves. The locals say, you aint seen nothing yet.
"I think this is going to be a tough storm. I think it is," said Virginia resident Ben Huss as he stood on the stairway leading to the upper levle of his beachfront home. "It's going to last a good while."
While she began showing signs of weakening late Friday, Irene is still expected to pack a 100+ mph punch and dump as much as 15 inches of rain.
As the day went on, many residents hoped the plywood would hold as they hammered their last nails and headed out for higher ground.
But as in any storm, even one of this predicted magnitude, there are those who vow to stay and ride it out. Even though the people who normally get the call for help may not be able to answer.
The local fire chief told 24 Hour News 8, "There could be a time when the decision-makers suspence emergency activity. And if that happens, the people that do not heed this advice will be left on their own."
The 24 Hour News 8 crew will be at WAVY throughout the hurricane. Located just blocks from the water, WAVY employees say it may get a little wet, but will be OK.
Officers from multiple law enforcement agencies worked together Tuesday evening to chase down an alleged van thief, despite slippery roads.
A charity lodge where three people were killed back in September 2013 will likely never open again.
Kalamazoo Township Police are asking for your help in finding a 63-year-old man who told people back in November he was going off to die.