Alexandria businesses brace for Hurricane Ian remnants this weekend

Virginia is under a state of emergency

The umbrellas are out and so are the sandbags. Businesses in Old Town Alexandria are not risking it.

On Union Street, Mya Richardson, who is the shift lead at Ben and Jerry's, said, "Any time we get a significant amount of rain, there is risk of flooding, especially in the back door, so we just want to keep the store safe and sound."

"Lots of times, even when there wasn't a tropical storm or anything – just from high-tide, streets get shut down, and we get some flooding in the back," Richardson explained. 

The managing partner at Mia's Italian Kitchen has 60 sandbags protecting the entrances of his restaurant.

"We usually take the opportunity to make sure we have a lot to invest and protect," Kevin Songster said. 

Songster knows how a bit of rain in this area can sometimes shut down streets.

"Last year, October we had a big flood event down here," Songster adds.

State and local leaders are preparing for the remnants of Hurricane Ian, especially in flood-prone areas.

Alexandria's Office of Emergency Management wants the community to be alert and clean out the gutters.

"What we don't want is the water to have nowhere to go, so if we can clear those paths, it makes the drainage much easier," said Kevin Coleman, deputy emergency management coordinator.

Maryland preps for potential Hurricane Ian remnants

Coleman said the city is monitoring the storm that is supposed to bring in some costal floods.

"We are keeping an eye out on the high tide schedule in addition to increased storm surge," he explained. "We know that we are expecting a little bit higher than normal water levels during those high tides."

Until the rain forces them to close, the businesses FOX 5 spoke to on Friday said that their doors will be open this weekend.

"We have a business to run," Songster said. "We have to make money." 

To report damages during the storm this weekend, Alexandria residents are asked to dial 311 to get in touch with emergency management, so they can dispatch crews.

City leaders said crews will be on standby for storm recovery operations.