Hurricane Floyd is still at sea, but he dominates our news tonight.
The storm reminds Roanoke- area residents of Hugo, a Hurricane of a decade ago.
We'll take a look at preparations being made in Central Virginia.
And the rest of the day's news.
Tonight on News 7 sports, Floyd is making its mark on the weekend football schedule - the Redskins have some parking problems - UVa has some injury concerns,
and they were testing today at the Martinsville Speedway
This hurricane wants to bring a powerful combo of wind and rain to our forecast but the most dangerous weather will be in Richmond and Norfolk.
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Thousands are fleeing Floyd.
Governor Gilmore has declared a state of emergency.
And the weather service is advising Central Virginians: get ready.
Good evening, I'm Keith Humphry.
Hurricane Floyd is moving across the northern Bahamas at this hour. Forecasters believe it will slam ashore in South Carolina tomorrow night, then head north- -eventually ripping through central Virginia.
As it nears the coast, the evacuation is on from central Florida northward.
Emergency management officials in Virginia are preparing for plenty of damage, if Floyd follows forecasts and keeps heading our way.
[GRAPHIC=Hurricane Floyd-Getting Ready]
Governor Gilmore isn't taking any chances. With Floyd heading our way once it makes landfall, Gilmore has already declared a state of emergency for Virginia.
The declaration urges people across the state to bring in garbage cans, lawn furniture, and other items that could be caught up in the storm.
The declaration advises residents to make sure they have working flashlights, batteries and other necessities, in case the power goes out.
Gilmore urges people living in flood-prone areas to have an evacuation plan ready.
[GRAPHIC=Hurricane Floyd Getting Ready]
Though the storm is still a long way away, it's huge and it's dangerous.
The question is: how close will it come to us?
Here's Meteorologist Robin Reed.
[Robin at Chroma wall]
[TOSS BACK TO KEITH]
[GRAPHIC=Floyd - Getting Ready]
So Danville and Lynchburg are among the most likely places to get hammered.
Emergency management officials in both area are getting ready.
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We begin with Marya Jones in our Danville newsroom.
Emergency officials all over Southside are on alert, waiting for a hurricane that we're told ... if it maintains its course ... could be the one of worst this area has ever seen.
And Southside emergency officials ... while hoping for the best... are already urging residents to prepare for the worst. (rollcue... to prepare for the worst. )
[SOT 1:41:10 - :26]
[IN Q=We have information that is reliable]
[SUPER=01-Doug Young/Danville Emergency Services Dir.; :00]
((DOUG YOUNG/DANVILLE EMERGENCY SERVICES DIRECTOR: WE HAVE INFORMATION THAT IS RELIABLE INFORMATION WE COULD HAVE POTENTIAL HIGH WINDS AND HEAVY RAINS. THAT'S WHAT WE'RE GOING TO PREPARE FOR. IF IT DOESN'T HAPPEN, WE GIVE THE GOOD LORD THANKS FOR THAT.))
[OUT Q=thanks for that.]
The most stringent warnings to residents are coming out of Halifax County.
Halifax County is telling residents to have at least FOUR days of food and water supplies.
They're also asking owners of mobile homes to look for alternate housing, just in case.
AND they say they'll be ready to open a county shelter for residents, if need be.
Danville and Pittsylvania County have emergency workers on standby.
And Henry County is waiting to make an assessment tomorrow, but warns there will probably be school closings on Thursday.
[Double Boxes=Marya/Microwave & Steve/Microwave]
[GRAPHIC=Floyd Getting Ready]
As Floyd heads north ... the next major city is Lynchburg.
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That's where Steve Smallshaw is tonight.. Steve what are they doing there to get ready?
Here they're taking a sort of wait and see approach, Marya .. officials want a better idea of what Floyd is going to do before they decide whether to activate the city's emergency response plan.
[SUPER=01-Barry Martin/Emergency Services Coordinator; :26]
[OUT Q=Floyd moves closer.]
[natsot 911 dispatch]
If and when Hurricane Floyd arrives in the Hill City, the 9-1-1 dispatch center will become Lynchburg's emergency command post.
From here, authorities will coordinate the city's police, fire and rescue efforts to try and minimize the impact of the storm.
Right now, officials are most worried about the storm's high winds which could take out power and phone service, and leave roadways blocked.
((BARRY MARTIN/EMERGENCY SERVICES COORDINATOR: WE HAVE CONCERN OVER THE PRECEDING RAINS THAT WEAKENED THE GROUND AND IF THAT'S FOLLOWED BY SOME WINDS OF 45 MILES OR PLUS, IT COULD TOPPLE MORE TREES THAN A NORMAL WIND OF THAT LEVEL WOULD.))
[OUT Q=that level would.]
Martin and his staff are keeping a close eye on the forecast, and will be changing their storm preparations as Floyd moves closer.))
With the exception of some brisker than normal sales of generators here, there hasn't been a whole lot of pre- hurricane activity.. that could change as the forecast becomes more clear.
[Double Boxes=Steve/Microwave & Keith]
Keith, city council will get a briefing on the storm preparations during their regular meeting tonight.
Roanoke area Emergency Services officials are keeping a close eye on the forecast and getting their plans in place, in the likely event that Floyd continues to bear down on us.
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Tonight, Joe Dashiell reports ANOTHER September hurricane is still fresh in their minds.
Keith, preparations will take on a greater sense of urgency tomorrow... that's when we're likely to hear that local emergency operations centers are opening... crews are moving equipment out of the flood plain...
But preparations have already begun...
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[SUPER=04-September 22, 1989; :15]
[SUPER=01-Pete Haislip/Roanoke Co. Parks and Rec. Dir.; :30]
[OUT Q=where you can't get to it.]
((OPENS ON NAT SOUND OF SHARPENING SAW
Tim Martin spent part of his morning, sharpening his chain saw.... If Floyd finds his way to western Virginia... Martin and other employees of the Roanoke County Parks and Recreation Department will be ready to roll.
NAT SOUND OF HUGO VIDEO
Ten years ago, this month... the remnants of Hugo brought heavy rains and menacing winds to our area... knocking down trees, knocking out power to thousands.
That lesson isn't lost on the crews that will be dealing with the trouble that Floyd dishes out.
[IN Q=These storms, even though we have]
((THESE STORMS, EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE A LOT OF ADVANCE WARNING, YOU KNOW THEY CAN CATCH YOU BY SURPRISE, THE AMOUNT OF RAINFALL CERTAINLY, PARTICULARLY AT OUR KESSLER MILL LOCATION WHERE THE WATER CAN GET UP HIGH SO WE CAN BE PREPARED, BECAUSE YOU NEED TO DEPLOY YOUR EQUIPMENT AND MATERIALS AT STRATEGIC LOCATIONS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTY SO YOU'RE NOT CAUGHT WHERE YOU CAN'T GET TO IT.))
[OUT Q=can't get to it.] ))
State troopers in our area, are now on standby, ready to be called in if they're needed...
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And Keith that's what we're seeing... businesses, local governments focusing on the task at hand... but waiting
for more definitive word on the storm's track, before springing into action.[NRV-Floyd]
In the New River Valley, emergency management officials say they'll wait another 12 to 24 hours ... before deciding whether any storm preparations are necessary.
They are monitoring Floyd, and waiting to see if the storm's path warrants action in the New River Valley.
We'll be monitoring Floyd as well, from our vantage points across the region. We are ready to break into regular programming at any time tomorrow and Thursday, to bring you information as soon as it is available.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Foreign competition is bringing down another southside apparel plant. That story is next on News 7 at 6.
[SOT FULL 00:09:07]
[Jimmy Dean Singing]
[OQ=dear old Virginia...]
And Jimmy Dean does a little campaigning in person ... for HIS vision of Virginia's state song.
[MUSIC UP FULL]
Another big layoff at a Virginia apparel company.
Martinsville-based Bassett Walker is closing its sewing plant in Brookneal.
Two hundred people will lose their jobs.
B-W also is closing a plant in North Carolina.
Going back to last year, Bassett Walker has closed 10 plants.
It's moving 80-percent of its sewing operations to Mexico, where the labor is much cheaper.
Botetourt County residents who sued their county supervisors watched half their case crumble today.
They say supervisors illegally rezoned Exit 156 off I-81 for a gas station and convenience store.
Two of their charges still stand: that the exit will become more dangerous, and that neighbors were not notified in writing of the public hearing.
But today the judge tossed out the rest of the case -- saying supervisors had every right to discuss the rezoning with V-DOT before the public hearing.
A trial is set for December.
The campaign to put New River Valley businesses on the map of international trade got another boost today.
Business leaders held their first meeting of the New River International Trade Association.
It's a new group to help local companies profit in foreign countries.
(///// SOT /////)
((PAUL GROSSMAN/VA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP: CLEARLY, THE BOTTOM LINE IS MONEY. YOU SHOULD EXPLORE AND STAY INVOLVED IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES BECAUSE YOU'RE MAKING MONEY THERE. WITH MARKETS EMERGING EVERY DAY, IT'S MORE AND MORE OF AN OPPORTUNITY.))
[SUPER=01-Paul Grossman/VA Economic Dev. Partnership]
[from tape 99-21 at 1:25:18]
Today's meeting comes just one month after the N-R-V airport was named a foreign trade zone.
Business leaders say that airport will help the new trade group help companies expand into new markets.
Mixed news from Wall Street.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
The Dow fell 120 points.
But Nasdaq climbed 24.
Prosecutors concede it's a circumstantial case, but they believe the blood on David Lee Griffin's shoe will prove he killed his roommate before setting the house on fire.
As trial got underway in Roanoke today,
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/October 17, 1997]
the defense promised testimony from a witness who believes James Cline set the fire himself.
The victim supposedly went so far as to say it would happen in September or October of '97.
"I might even burn myself up, do it while my roommate's asleep," Cline was quoted as saying before he died.
The prosecution says Cline was beaten and stomped to death before the fire started. [Love]
Less than an hour ago, a judge in Montgomery County dismissed both counts of involuntary manslaughter against a Blacksburg man.
28- year old John Claude Love was behind the wheel of a pick up that struck and killed two men on a motorcycle in Blacksburg, last summer.
Prosecutors say Love's pickup was in the middle of the road when Love collided head-on with 21- year old Michael Perry and 21- year old Michael Dove.
In dismissing the two counts-- Circuit Ray Grubbs said the evidence wasn't there to support the charges.
Love's attorney argued that the road on which the accident occurred was narrow and UN-marked.
A jury began hearing the case this morning and must still decide if Love should be convicted of felony hit and run for leaving the accident scene on foot.
Coming up tonight on the Big 7 - the Redskins have some big problems, and they are not on the field. Some unusual names were testing Cup cars at Martinsville today.
and Steve Mason has more on the Cavaliers' comeback plans this Saturday as they host Wake Forest.
Hurricane Floyd is already making its mark on the sporting world. This coming Saturday's southern conference football game between The Citadel & Western Carolina in Culhowee, North Carolina has been postponed.
The hurricane should be well past us by that point, but the conference had no other choice but to postpone the game after the Citadel released its entire student body today.
10th ranked Virginia Tech is off this week, giving the Hokies ample time to think about Clemson,
a team that dominated Virginia this past Saturday. UVa is now preparing for it's sold out contest with Wake Forest and Steve Mason has more from Charlottesville.
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[IN Q=first audio]
[SUPER=03-Clemson, SC; :00]
[SUPER=01-George Welsh/UVa Head Coach; :16]
[SUPER=01-Shernard Newby/UVa Freshman Safety; :50]
[SUPER=01-Shannon Taylor/Two Sacks This Season; 1:16]
[OUT Q=...news 7 sports"]
((Tommy Bowden's changing of Clemson's offense from a running to a passing attack could not have come at a worse time for the Cavaliers. With two veteran defensive backs injured, true freshman like former Jefferson Forest star Jerton Evans was forced to make senior like plays.
((GEORGE WELSH/UVA HEAD COACH:))
X-rays on defensive End Travis Griffith's ankle concluded that he has a sprained ankle and he is doubtful for Saturday's game. Defensive backs Dwayne Stukes and Antwan Harris are still questionable as of Tuesday morning, forcing Evans and the other freshman DB's to prepare as if they will start.
((SHERNARD NEWBY/UVA FRESHMAN SAFETY:))
The Cavaliers beat Wake Forest 38-17 last year and are looking for their 16th straight win over the Demon Deacons Saturday. Steve Mason, News 7 sports.))
The Washington Redskins on the field problems may be minor compared to what the team is going through off the field with its fans.
[SUPER=03-Landover, MD/Sunday; :00]
Many Redskins faithful didn't even make it to Sunday's game on time and some missed the whole thing due to traffic and parking problems.
Redskins officials met this morning with police to figure out how to better get fans in and out of the stadium.
Team owner Daniel Snyder says he'll build as many as seven-thousand additional parking spots at Redskins' stadium at a cost of about 35 million dollars.
But they won't be ready by the next home game on October 3rd.
The Martinsville Speedway won't be hosting its three fall races until the end of the month, but the track was full of activity today.
Two time Craftsman Truck series champion - Ron Hornaday - was at the speedway testing a Chevrolet owned by Felix Sabates' Sabco Racing.
He hopes to get the car in the NAPA 500 on October 3rd.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Ron Hornaday/Hopes to Make NAPA 500; :00]
[OUT Q=...hopes to change."]
Tickets are still available for the Cup race as well as the Late Model and Modified events.
Fans arriving at the track will notice that the ticket office is receiving a major face lift.
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Can they find more money... or somehow cut the cost?
Roanoke County officials are still wrestling with that question as they try to move school construction projects forward.
[Double Boxes=Keith & Jean/Newsroom]
Jean Jadhon joins us with details.
Keith the price tag on the new high school and other construction projects
is now millions more than original projections.
How to close that gap has left the School Board and the Board of Supervisors at odds... and the projects on hold.
Tonight, Supervisors take up the issue again in a public meeting.
[Double Boxes=Jean & Keith/Newsroom]
We'll have the latest on News 7 at 11.
He's a Grammy- award winning singer and songwriter... but sausage king Jimmy Dean says being a finalist in the state song competition is his biggest accomplishment yet.
Dean and his wife Donna were in Lynchburg today, giving the local Rotary Club a preview of what they hope will be the new state anthem.
The song started out as a SCHOOL anthem for Varina High School near Richmond.
But friends urged the Deans to change the lyrics and enter the state song competition.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=But as my]
((JIMMY DEAN/SONGWRITER: BUT AS MY SON PUT IT.. YESTERDAY, I WAS TALKING TO HIM.. HE SAID `BOY, WOULDN'T THAT BE SOME LEGACY THAT MY DAD HAD WRITTEN THE VIRGINIA STATE ANTHEM'.))
[OUT Q=Virginia state anthem.]
Dean is one of eight finalists in the competition.
A winner will be chosen in December.
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