Virginia Evacuation Zones, Maps, & Routes from Hurricane Florence [Updates]

Virginia Evacuation Routes and Zones

Know Your Zone/Virginia Virginia Evacuation Routes and Zones

As Hurricane Florence approaches the southeastern coast of the United States, residents of Virginia are bracing themselves and getting ready to evacuate. But the emergency websites for Virginia, including the Know Your Zone sites, are periodically down, making it a bit more difficult for residents to know which zone they are in and if they should be evacuating. This article includes updated details about Virginia evacuations as of the early evening of September 11, along with photos of evacuation zones, direct links to the interactive Know Your Zone maps for Virginia, and links to cached Virginia emergency websites that you can read if the main websites are down. Read on for more details.

Virginia Evacuation Updates

Gov. Ralph Northam issued a mandatory evacuation for Zone A, including the Eastern Shore and Hampton Road areas, that started Tuesday, September 11 at 8 a.m. This involves more than 245,000 people, WTOP reported.

On Tuesday, the Navy also issued an emergency evacuation order for personnel who live in Zone A.

Highway traffic was backed up for miles as residents began evacuating, Pilot Online reported on Tuesday. Zones B, C, and D had not yet been given an evacuation notice as of Tuesday afternoon. But President Donald Trump did approve a federal emergency disaster declaration for Virginia on Tuesday, which frees up federal funds and resources.

The administrator of FEMA, Brock Long, has warned that some areas affected by the hurricane might be without power for weeks:

On 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Hurricane Florence was still a powerful Category 4 hurricane with 140 mph winds. The hurricane could strengthen, the National Hurricane Center warned.

Some residents were having trouble locating their zone information because the KnowYourZone website is periodically down. Below you’ll find a direct map to the Virginia evacuation zone map, along with other details from Virginia’s emergency website.

As of 5 p.m. on Monday, Florence had winds of 140 mph and was growing in size and strength, the National Hurricane Center reported. Right now it’s projected to land near the Carolinas on Thursday, but that could change.

Keep an eye on your local news, because evacuation zones might be changed or expanded. You can also call 211 for the latest updates.

Evacuation Zones & Maps in Virginia

Virginia Evacuation Zone Tool

Virginia ARCGISVirginia Evacuation Zone Tool

You can view Virginia’s interactive map here to find out exactly which evacuation zone you’re in. Just type in your address to see your zone on the map. This link may still work if Virginia’s emergency website is down.

If Virginia’s Know Your Zone website is down, you can see the cached version of the site here. The map itself may still work if the main website is down, so try the interactive map link above even if Know Your Zone itself is down.

Virginia has four zones: Zone A, Zone B, Zone C, and Zone D. These are only along coastal Virginia. Blue areas are Zone A, green are Zone B, yellow are Zone C, and pink/red are Zone D.  Zone A are the addresses most at risk and Zone D are the areas least at risk.

The zones serve the Hampton Roads, Middle Peninsula, Eastern Shore, and Northern Neck areas, Virginia’s Know Your Zone website points out. Not every city in Virginia is part of the Know Your Zone program. According to Know Your Zone: “Twenty-three localities participate in the (zone) program. They include the cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach; counties of Accomack, Essex, Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, Northampton, Northumberland, Richmond County, Surry, Westmoreland, York, and the town of Chincoteague.”

Here’s a closer look at the zones, in case the interactive map is down. Remember, Zone A is blue.

Virginia Evacuation Zone

Virginia ARCGISVirginia Evacuation Zone

Virginia ARCGISVirginia Evacuation Map

Virginia ARCGISVirginia Evacuation Map

Virginia ARCGISVirginia Evacuation Map

Virginia ARCGISVirginia Evacuation Map

Virginia ARCGISVirginia Evacuation Map

You can view Virginia’s interactive map here to find out exactly which evacuation zone you’re in. Just type in your address to see your zone on the map. If the site is down, the screenshots above can help you determine if your area is near a mandatory evacuation zone, until the site is restored. 

If Virginia’s hurricane preparedness guide is down, you can still read the archived version here. Here is what the guide says about the Know Your Zone information:

“Know Your Zone serves roughly 1.25 million residents who live in Coastal Virginia, the region of the state most vulnerable to hurricanes and other tropical storms. Twenty-three localities participate in the Know Your Zone evacuation initiative. Tiered evacuation zones were developed in close coordination with local emergency managers throughout Hampton Roads, the Northern Neck, the Middle Peninsula and the Eastern Shore based on the most up-to-date engineering data for the region. Zones are designated A through D. They provide residents with clarity on whether they should evacuate in an emergency or shelter at home, based on their physical street address and the nature of the emergency event. When a serious storm is expected to threaten or impact Virginia’s coastal regions, state and local emergency agencies will work with local news media outlets, as well as social media channels, that will then broadcast and publish evacuation directives to the public.”

“Find your evacuation zone at The website displays a detailed, interactive, color-coded map showing each evacuation zone. Residents can use the map to view their region or zoom in to their residential neighborhood and street. Users can enter their physical address in the search bar to view and confirm their designated evacuation zone. Residents without Internet access should contact their local emergency management office or call 2-1-1 for assistance.”

If you are not in a zoned area, this is what you should do: “Residents not residing in a pre-identified evacuation zone should listen to local evacuation orders from local and state emergency agencies to determine if and when to evacuate.”

The guide also states: “All you have to do is Know Your Zone. When a storm is approaching, emergency managers will determine which zones are most at risk considering the intensity, path, speed, tides and other meteorological factors. Emergency managers at the state and local level will work with local media and use social media and other tools to notify residents of impacted zones what they should do to stay safe. Depending on the emergency, being safe might mean staying at home, a short trip to higher ground, or traveling to a different region of the state.”

It’s important to note that the four zones are not divided up by cities. So just because you’re in one particular city doesn’t mean that everyone in your city will be in the same zone. That’s why you need to pay close attention to the Know Your Zone maps.

Evacuation Routes in Virginia

Virginia’s hurricane preparedness and Know Your Zone guide lists the following regarding evacuation routes:

“If officials order an evacuation for your area, use one of these designated routes. Become familiar with these routes and plan to leave early to avoid major traffic delays.”


  • Interstate 64 West
  • Interstate 664 North
  • U.S. Route 17 North
  • U.S. Route 60 West
  • Route 143

“During severe weather, the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry is removed from service and should NOT be considered part of your evacuation plan.”


  • 264 West and Interstate 64 Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel
  • Interstate 664 North Monitor Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel
  • U.S. Route 17 North
  • U.S. Route 58 West
  • U.S. Route 460 West
  • Route 10 West

“The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is NOT an evacuation route. For closure information,”


“All Eastern Shore residents will use U.S. Route 13 North toward Salisbury, Maryland.”

Virginia’s emergency preparedness webpage also notes that Virginia Beach residents can take any of the following evacuation routes:

  • Interstates 64 & 264
  • Interstate 664 North Monitor Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel
  • U.S. Route 17 North
  • U.S. Route 58 West
  • U.S. Route 460 West
  • Route 10 West​

How Highway Reversal Works

If you’re wondering about highway reversal, here’s what Virginia’s emergency webpage says about this. Note that the information below is only relevant if the governor issues a lane reversal of I-64: 

Only the governor can issue the order for a lane reversal on I-64. The I-64 reversal plan begins in Norfolk, just east of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT), at mile marker 273 and ends at I-295. If the governor orders a lane reversal, no traffic will be allowed to travel east between mile markers 273 and 200. All eastbound lanes and ramps will be closed to eastbound traffic.

“All traffic entering I-64 at 4th View St. (Exit 273) will travel in the westbound lanes. All traffic entering I-64 west of the HRBT will travel in the westbound lanes as well.

“There will be only two possible exits from the reversed lanes between Norfolk and I-295:

  • Exit 234 in Williamsburg (Route 199) for gas, food, lodging and hospital
  • Exit 205 in Bottoms Bridge for gas and food.

“Motorists who exit the reversed lanes at these exits may not re-enter the reversed lanes. They may only re-enter I-64 using the regular I-64 westbound ramps.

“All motorists traveling in the westbound lanes of I-64 can exit and enter the interstate as they normally would, but some entrance and/exit ramps may be closed for traffic control.

“At the I-295 interchange, motorists on I-64 westbound lanes must take Exit 200 and travel on I-295 north toward Fredericksburg and Northern Virginia or I-295 south toward Petersburg. Motorists on I-64 reversed lanes (normally eastbound) will cross over to I-64 west lanes and continue west toward the I-95 interchange.

“For more in-depth information on how to evacuate safely, check out the Virginia Hurricane Evacuation Guide, also available in Spanish.”

Remember, if you have questions about your evacuation zone, you can call 211 or your local emergency manager.

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