Saturday, January 30, 2010

City Cold Weather Overflow Shelter Extends Sunday Operations

The city’s Cold Weather Overflow Shelter will open tonight, January 30 and Sunday, January 31, as overnight temperatures are forecasted to remain at or below 35 degrees. Due to the weather conditions, the shelter will open one hour earlier on Sunday and operate from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. The shelter will open tonight at 6 p.m. and close tomorrow at 6 a.m.

The Freedom House Conrad Center will serve as a daytime shelter today and Sunday, January 31, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Freedom House Conrad Center will serve lunch each day it is open. Transportation between the daytime warming shelter and the overnight shelter will be provided.

City Closes Parts of Broad Street and Boulevard Bridge

Broad Street east and west bound lanes from 14th Street to 25th Street are now closed to all traffic until further notice. The Boulevard Bridge has also been closed by city officials until further notice. As anticipated, the heavy snow fall along with freezing temperatures is creating hazardous road conditions as snow accumulation rises.

Residents are advised to remain inside and not travel on city streets if at all possible. Hazardous driving conditions are expected to continue until the winter storm passes and city crews have had an opportunity to clear roads.

For up-to-date information from the city of Richmond visit www.RichmondGov.com or follow us on twitter (CityRichmondVA).

Mayor Jones Declares Local State of Emergency for Winter Storm

Mayor Dwight C. Jones declared a local state of emergency at 8:45 a.m. today, January 30, 2010, due to the winter storm forecasted to impact the city of Richmond this weekend. The city also activated its emergency operations center (EOC) at 7:00 a.m. which will be in operation throughout the day.

The emergency declaration and EOC activation is a proactive approach to emergency preparedness and will aid in providing for the safety and well being of citizens in the City, Commonwealth, and Nation. The city’s EOC will operate in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

As temperatures are expected to remain below freezing for the next several days, conditions may not allow for some city streets to be completely cleared. The city asks that residents remain inside and not travel if at all possible. If it becomes necessary to travel under these hazardous conditions, then please consider the following suggestions:

  • If you do have to drive, drive cautiously and decrease speed;
  • Have a full tank of gas;
  • Completely clear snow and ice from your vehicle before driving;
  • Have a cell phone with a full charge with you;
  • Have cold weather items, such as coats and blankets in your vehicle;
  • Be cautious and aware of children playing in the snow;
  • Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake;
  • Increase distance between you and the vehicle in front of you;
  • Remember overpasses freeze before surface roads and ice may form on the bridges;
  • Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills; and
  • If you begin to lose control of your vehicle take your foot off the gas and steer back on course.


For up-to-date information from the city of Richmond follow us on Twitter at (CityRichmondVA).

Friday, January 29, 2010

City Advises Motorist of Safety Hazards as Winter Storm Approaches

Updated forecast from the National Weather Service at Wakefield, Virginia indicate that the city of Richmond can expect between 10 to 12 inches of snowfall through tonight and Saturday. As temperatures are expected to remain below freezing for the next several days, conditions may not allow some city streets to be completely cleared.

The city asks that residents remain inside and not travel on city streets if at all possible to avoid hazardous driving conditions. If it becomes absolutely necessary to travel under these conditions, then please consider the following suggestions:

  • If you do have to drive, drive cautiously and decrease speed;
  • Have a full tank of gas;
  • Completely clear snow and ice from your vehicle before driving;
  • Have a cell phone with a full charge with you;
  • Have cold weather items, such as coats and blankets in your vehicle;
  • Be cautious and aware of children playing in the snow;
  • Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake;
  • Increase distance between you and the vehicle in front of you;
  • Remember overpasses freeze before surface roads and ice may form on the bridges;
  • Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills; and
  • If you begin to lose control of your vehicle take your foot off the gas and steer back on course.

For up-to-date information from the city of Richmond visit www.RichmondGov.com or follow us on twitter (CityRichmondVA).

City Cold Weather Overflow Shelter Open Throughout Weekend

The city’s Cold Weather Overflow Shelter will open tonight, January 29 through Sunday, January 31, as overnight temperatures are forecasted to remain at or below 35 degrees for the next several days. The Cold Weather Overflow Shelter is located at Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church, 14 West Duval Street. The Cold Weather Overflow Shelter’s hours of operation are:

  • Friday, January 29 from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Saturday, January 30 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Sunday, January 31 from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Residents in need of overnight shelter are asked to report to Central Intake by 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, for a comprehensive intake and referral to the appropriate shelter. Central Intake is located at the Freedom House Conrad Center, 1400 Oliver Hill Way, next to Richmond Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and Richmond City Jail. Residents may call the Freedom House Conrad Center at 648-4177. For individuals who are not eligible for existing shelter or if all available beds have been filled, Central Intake will provide a referral to the Cold Weather Overflow Shelter. Residents arriving after Central Intake has closed should proceed directly the Cold Weather Overflow Shelter.

The Freedom House Conrad Center will also serve as a daytime shelter on the following days:

· Friday, January 29 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

· Saturday, January 30 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

· Sunday, January 31 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Freedom House Conrad Center will serve lunch each day it is open. Transportation between the daytime warming shelter and the nighttime overflow shelter will be provided.

The city’s Department of Social Services (DSS) will accept applications now through March 15 for crisis fuel assistance at 900 East Marshall Street, Monday through Friday; from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Residents can also call the Fuel Line at 646-7046. DSS also provides emergency assistance with disconnection notices of gas and electric for residents who qualify.

If you are elderly or disabled, you can also contact Senior Connections for assistance at 343-3000, Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

City Announces Inclement Weather Closings

As a result of this weekend's inclement weather forecast, the city of Richmond is announcing the following closing information.

Due to the pending inclement weather, Richmond Public Libraries will be closed on Saturday, January 30. Library programs scheduled for Saturday are postponed until further notice. All Richmond Public Libraries and programs will resume as regularly scheduled on Monday, February 1.

The Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities has closed recreation centers and cancelled all city programs Saturday and Sunday, January 30 and 31 due to pending inclement weather. City recreation centers are scheduled to reopen at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, February 1.

Due to the pending inclement weather, the East Richmond Road Convenience Center and the Hopkins Road Transfer Station will be closed on Saturday, January 30.

Sheriff C.T. Woody, Jr. announced today that all visitations at the Richmond City Jail, professional and otherwise, will be temporarily suspended due to the expectation of severe weather conditions. The suspension of visitation will begin at 9 p.m. tonight and will continue through the weekend or until further notice from the Sheriff.

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City Redesigns and Improves Richmondgov.com

The city of Richmond has officially launched a new, redesigned city website at www.Richmondgov.com. The objective of the new website is to maximize a visitor's online experience when navigating, researching and conducting business on the city site.

"This new website provides clearer navigation and greater accessibility for city residents and visitors," said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. "We ensured efficiency in constructing the new site by utilizing internal resources and undertaking the complete redesign in house with the talents of our Department of Information Technology."

The new website provides maps, directions, and a street level view to every city owned address through an internally developed mapping application. Other amenities of the website include a city event and meeting calendar as well as real-time traffic accident mapping for Richmond, Chesterfield and Henrico. The city also uses the website to embrace social media platforms such as Blogger, Facebook, and Twitter.

The redesign was completed through a collaborative effort between the Office of the Press Secretary, Department of Information Technology, and public information officers from the departments of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities, Fire, Police, Public Utilities, and Public Works. he city utilized additional cost saving measures in creating the website by using open source and free services such as Google Search, Google Calendar, Google Street View, Bing Maps, and JQuery.

Other recent city of Richmond technological advances have resulted in several national awards which include:

  • Winner of American City & County Magazine’s 2009 Crown Community Excellence Award for Innovation in Local Government
  • Winner of the 2009 Governor’s Technology Award for Innovation in Local Government
  • Winner of the IJIS (Integrating Justice Information Systems) Institutes’ Innovation Award
  • Winner of two 2009 Digital Government Achievement Awards sponsored by the Center for Digital Government for the External Alarm Interface Project and Payee Match Positive Pay Project
  • 10th place in the Digital Cities Survey sponsored by the Center for Digital Government

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mayor to Testify on Gun Show Loophole

Who: Mayor Dwight C. Jones

What: House Militia, Police and Public Safety Subcommittee #1

When: 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 28, 2010

Where: General Assembly Building, 5th Floor West Conference Room

Background:
Mayor Dwight C. Jones, Chairman of the Virginia Chapter of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, will testify today on HB 1234 as patroned by Delegate Jennifer McClellan. HB 1234 is before the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Subcommittee #1 and adds a definition of "firearms show vendor" and requires that a criminal history record information check be performed on the prospective transferee before the vendor may transfer firearms at a gun show. Under current law, only licensed dealers must obtain such a check. The bill also adds a definition of "promoter" and requires that the promoter of a gun show provide vendors with access to licensed dealers who will conduct the criminal background check.

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Mayor Comments on Federal Rail Stimulus Award

Following today's announcement of a $75 million grant award to teh Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, Mayor Dwight C. Jones issued the following statement:

"We are excited to see forward movement on the improvements to passenger rail service between Richmond and Washington, DC. The plans to transform America's transportation system will essentially have the effect of transforming our city to the Tier One city we all know it can be. These steps towards high speed rail expansion will help us build a solid foundation for economic competitiveness. Safe and energy efficient transportation choices will attract new employers and young professionals and increase the city's tax base. The critical Richmond to Washington, DC corridor is in line with my vision for Richmond to become a world-class city."


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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

City Cold Weather Overflow Shelter Open Throughout Weekend

The city's Cold Weather Overflow Shelter will open tonight, January 27 through Sunday, January 31, as overnight temperatures are forecasted to remain at or below 35 degrees for the next several days. The Cold Weather Overflow Shelter's hours of operation are:

  • Wednesday, January 27 from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Thursday, January 28 from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Friday, January 29 from 7 p.m.. to 6 a.m.
  • Saturday, January 30 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Sunday, January 31 from 7 p.m.. to 6 a.m.
Residents in need of overnight shelter are asked to report to Central Intake by 3 p.m. for a comprehensive intake and referral to the appropriate shelter. Central Intake is located at the Freedom House Conrad Center, 1400 Oliver Hill Way, next to Richmond Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and Richmond City Jail. Residents may call the Freedom House Conrad Center at 648-4177. For individuals who are not eligible for existing shelter or if all available beds have been filled, Central Intake will provide a referral to the Cold Weather Overflow Shelter.

The Freedom House Conrad Center will also serve as a daytime shelter on the following days:
  • Friday, January 29 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, January 30 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sunday, January 31 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Freedom House Conrad Center will serve lunch each day it is open.

The city's Department of Social Services (DSS) will accept applications now through March 1 for crisis fuel assistance at 900 East Marshall Street, Monday through Friday; from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Residents can also call the Fuel at 646-7046. DSS also provides emergency assistance with disconnection notices of gas and electric for residents who qualify.

If you are elderly or disabled, you can also contact Senior Connections for assistance at 343-3000, Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Contact: Michael Wallace
(804) 646-2772

Vacuum Leaf Collection Program Temporarily Suspended in Preparation for Snow Removal

The city is temporarily suspending vacuum leaf collection as of 7:00 a.m. Thursday, January 28, 2010 due to weather advisories indicating the city may experience a winter storm with an accumulation of snow. The same equipment is used for both leaf collection and snow removal. Thursday morning, workers will begin the process of putting spreaders and snow plows on the machinery in preparation for the inclement weather.

Due to heavy rains and the snowstorm that blanketed the city in December, vacuum leaf collection is currently five weeks behind schedule. Several areas have not been completed: Maymont, Bellemeade, Worthington Farms and Brookbury. The Church Hill area is approximately 90% complete and Westover Hills is 50% complete.

For more information on city services and schedules, please visit us online at www.RichmondGov.com.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

City to Tweet Mayor Dwight Jones' State of the City Address

The city of Richmond will provide twitter updates of Mayor Dwight C. Jones' inaugural State of the City address tonight. Residents who would like to receive the twitter updates should log onto www.twitter.com/cityrichmondva.

Mayor Jones' State of the City address will be held at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Richmond CenterStage. The Mayor will detail the budget shortfalls resolved in early 2009 as well as the strategy to overcome forecasted budgetary challenges. Other address highlights include economic development, schools, infrastructure, quality of life, public safety, and building Richmond into a tier one city. The public is encouraged to attend.

Complimentary parking will be available across from the Grace Street side of CenterStage. Parking entrances are on 6th and 7th Streets.

Contact: Tammy Hawley
(804) 646-3110

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City Monitors Streets as James River Crests

A National Weather Service forecast update concerning the James River water level in the city of Richmond has resulted in fewer city streets being closed due to flooding than originally anticipated. At this time, no city streets are closed due to flooding however closures are expected early this afternoon on Water Street, Pear Street, and Ash Street. City officials will continue to monitor these streets as they will remain open until they are flooded and become a public safety hazard. The specific areas of concern are:

Water Street between Dock Street and Nicholson Street
Pear Street between Dock Street and East Cary Street
Ash Street between East Main Street and Water Street
Low-lying areas of Riverside Drive

Any street closed for flooding is expected to reopen at noon on Thursday, January 28. Dock Street and Brander Street are not expected to closed today and both are open for use.

If notorists encounter standing water on any street, they should not try to drive through it as hidden obstacles may exist.

Contact: Michael Wallace
(804) 646-2772

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Monday, January 25, 2010

UPDATED Street Closures Due to Cresting of James River

Due to an updated National Weather Service forecast of the James River water level, the closure time of several streets in the city of Richmond has changed. This change in street closure timing is due to anticipated flooding as the James River crests from heavy rains in the western portions of Virginia. The river is expected to reach flood stage around 7 a.m. Tuesday, January 26, 2010. The river is expected to crest at 20 feet above sea level tomorrow around 6 p.m.

If motorist encounter standing water on any street, they should not try to drive through it, as hidden obstacles may exist.

The following streets will close at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, January 26, and are expected to re-open at noon on Thursday, January 28:

North of the River:

Dock Street between 19th Street and Water Street

Water Street between Dock Street and Nicholson Street

Pear Street between Dock Street and East Cary Street

Ash Street between East Main Street and Water Street

Residents should not park their vehicles in any ground level parking lot that is adjacent to the closed section of Dock Street.

In addition to these street closures, the city recommends that residents avoid Belle Isle as well as Tredegar Street west of 5th Street.

South of the River:

Brander Street will close at the railroad crossing near the I-95 bridge.

In addition to this street closure, residents can expect flooding in the low-lying areas of Riverside Drive and Cherokee Road.

Contact: Michael Wallace, (804) 646-2772

Several City Streets to Close as James River Crests

The city of Richmond will close several city streets on Tuesday, January 26, 2010, due to anticipated flooding, as the James River crests from heavy rains in the western portions of Virginia.


If motorist encounter standing water on any street, they should not try to drive through it as hidden obstacles may exist.


The following streets will close at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, January 26, and are expected to reopen at noon on Thursday, January 28:


North of the River:

Dock Street between 19th Street and Water Street

Water Street between Dock Street and Nicholson Street

Pear Street between Dock Street and Cary Street

Ash Street between East Main Street and Water Street


Residents should not park their vehicles in any ground level parking lot that is adjacent to the closed section of Dock Street.


In addition to these street closures, the city recommends that residents avoid Belle Isle as well as Tredegar Street west of 5th Street.


South of the River:

Brander Street will close at the railroad crossing near the I-95 bridge.


In addition to this street closure, residents can expect flooding in the low lying areas of Riverside Drive and Cherokee Road.



Contact: Michael Wallace, (804) 646-2772