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WFO WAKEFIELD, VA
STATION LOCATION: The National Weather Service Office, Wakefield, Virginia, is located in southeast Virginia on Route 460 in the town of Wakefield, the county of Sussex. The office is about halfway between Richmond and Norfolk, and about 23 miles southwest of Williamsburg. Wakefield is a rural community of approximately 1,200 people (10,000 in Sussex County), and is in the center of the primary peanut growing region of Virginia. The first peanuts in the U.S. were grown on land located only a short distance from the office. To get to the office from Richmond, take I-95 South to Route 460 East. From the I-95 exit, onto Route 460, it is approximately 30 miles to the office, which is located on Route 460, after the town of Waverly. Coming from the Norfolk area, take I-64 or I-264 to the Route 58 Bypass (going around the city of Suffolk), to Route 460 West toward Petersburg. From the Route 58 Bypass exit onto Route 460, it is approximately 30 miles to the office.
Office phone numbers: 757-899-4200 (public/listed), Fax: 757-899-3605. The office operates 24 hours a day and is open to the public from 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday, security permitting.
There are several small communities close to the office. However, the majority of personnel prefer to live in larger communities such as Petersburg, Chester, Colonial Heights, Prince George county, Williamsburg, Suffolk, and the many Tidewater and Hampton Road cities and towns. Most of these are within 30-50 miles of the office. The surrounding area offers year round activities for many varied interests. History, agriculture, theme parks, fishing (freshwater and saltwater), and the many beaches and camping areas nearby, are just a few of the possibilities. The location allows easy access to both the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay (about one hour), the North Carolina Outer Banks (2 to 3 hours) and the mountains of western Virginia (about three hours).
STATION ACTIVITIES: This office is a National Weather Service Office with responsibility for 66 jurisdictions in parts of three states. It includes four Maryland counties on the lower Maryland Eastern Shore, 38 counties and 15 independent cities in central and southeast Virginia, and nine counties in northeast Carolina. The station supports aviation forecasts for five airports. The station has a service hydrologist, and is responsible for the lower James River, the Appomattox River and the Chowan River Basin. There are about 800 miles of shoreline in the forecast area that includes the southern half of the Chesapeake Bay as well as the Atlantic Ocean from Fenwick Island Delaware to Currituck Beach North Carolina. There are about 66 cooperative river/rainfall observing stations in the forecast area. The office has two UCPs, one for our own radar, and one connected to the Dover Delaware military radar. We have five military sites that are associated with our local radar. Five NOAA Weather Radio transmitters are supported from the office.
TRANSIENT AND PERMANENT LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS: Major motels or hotels are about 30 miles from the office. The closest hotels are in Petersburg, Hopewell or Suffolk. The rates are at or below the allowed government per diem rate for lodging. Real estate in the Wakefield area is very reasonably priced; however, the amenities are minimal. There are a few apartment complexes and rural rental homes in the Wakefield area, with monthly rental starting, about $500.00 and up. In the larger cities and towns, an average new 3-bedroom home cost approximately $ 120,000.00 and up, including the land. In the larger metropolitan areas, apartment rentals range anywhere from $500.00 to $900.00 monthly.
LOCAL TRANSPORTATION: A private automobile is essential to this area. There is no public transportation available to/in Wakefield. There is taxi and limousine service available from either the Richmond or Norfolk areas. There is a small municipal airport located one-quarter mile east of the office which allows small private planes and offers hanger storage/rental service.
EATING FACILITIES: The most popular restaurant in the area, The Virginia Diner, is located about one mile east of the office. To the west, pork barbeque, Italian food and Chinese food are available in the town of Waverly (6 miles from the office). A few places offering fast food can be found in both Waverly and Wakefield.
COMMUNITY DESCRIPTION: The immediate Wakefield/Sussex County area is a rural agriculture community. Crime is very low and living is typically peaceful and quiet.
There is basic shopping nearby (grocery, drug, hardware), and the closest malls are located in Colonial Heights (about 30 miles west, Southpark Mall) and Chesapeake (about 50 miles east, Chesapeake Square Mall). The nearest college is John Tyler Community College, located in Chester. The Medical College of Virginia (MCV) and the Virginia Commonwealth University are in Richmond; Old Dominion University and Virginia Wesleyan College are located in Norfolk; and the College of William and Mary is in Williamsburg. There are various other fine state and private colleges located in the metropolitan areas.
The Norfolk Tides and the Richmond Braves Triple A professional baseball teams provide a fun evening for the family, from April through August. There are several coliseums in Norfolk and Richmond that offer concerts, operas, plays, the circus, and various other activities. There are many recreational and historic areas nearby, such as in Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown, Bush Gardens, the Virginia Beach resort area, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina (Nags Head, Hatteras, etc.). For the fisherman, head boat and deep sea charter boats are available out of Virginia Beach, the Chesapeake Bay, and also the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
The Norfolk Naval Base is the largest naval base in the world, and there are numerous other military installations throughout the area. The Hampton Roads port is one of the nation's largest and is the largest in terms of bulk cargo handled.
CHILD CARE FACILITIES: There are no child care centers in the Wakefield area.
TAX INFORMATION: There is a 4.5% state sales tax on purchases, and some cities have an additional sales tax on restaurant and motel services. The Virginia State income tax rate is approximately 6% of adjusted gross income. Property tax in Virginia is based on 100% of fair market value and varies between areas. The local (Wakefield) personal property tax is currently $0.86 per $100; real estate tax is $0.093 per $100. The Sussex County personal property tax is $4.75 per $10 and the real estate tax is $0.50 per $ 100. (If you live in, and/or own property in the town of Wakefield you will be taxed by the town and the county. If you live outside of the town limits, in the county, you will be taxed only by the county. This system of taxation is standard for the small towns within Sussex and it's surrounding counties.)
CLIMATE: The winters are usually mild, with an average temperatures near 40 degrees F. The autumn and spring seasons usually are outstanding, with an average temperature of 59 degrees F. Summers are warm and humid, but are frequently tempered by cool periods. The average summer temperature is around 75 degrees F.