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Hurricane Florence: State Prison Evacuated, Local Jails Stay Put

As local residents prepare for Hurricane Florence, there is one segment of the population who don’t have much of a say on the matter: inmates.

The Virginia Department of Corrections evacuated nearly 1,000 inmates from the state prison in Chesapeake on September 11, 2018 citing the governor’s evacuation order for parts of Hampton Roads in preparation for Hurricane Florence.

About 960 men housed at Indian Creek Correctional Center in southern Chesapeake were tranferred to Greensville Correctional Center, about 100 miles west.

St. Bride’s Correctional Center, which is located near t Indian Creek, was not evacuated because it is at a slightly higher elevation.

The two state prisons are not under a mandatory evacuation order, but the Indian Creek facility is more susceptible to flooding due to its elevation.

Three local city jails are in the evacuated area. But the sheriff’s offices that oversee those jails said they do not plan to evacuate at this time.

The Norfolk Sheriff’s Office obtained two weeks’ worth of food and medicine for its 1,100 inmates, as well as 3,200 gallons of fuel. Also, the jail has pumps to removed water if it’s flooded, and staff printed paper copies of medical records in case the power goes out.

All sworn officers have been called in to make sure the jail is fully secured, and they’re staying at local hotel to make sure they can get to and from work.

In Portsmouth, deputies who usually work in the courthouse and the civil process division will be stationed at the jail to increase staffing to supervise the 240 inmates there.

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