Wind gusts in excess of 50 miles per hour are battering the coast at Norfolk, Virginia.
The Virginia Department of Transportation is closing Norfolk's Midtown Tunnel because of heavy rain from Hurricane Irene.
The agency said Saturday morning that flooding of the tunnel appears likely. Crews will keep an eye on conditions and reopen the tunnel as soon as it's safe.
VDOT said earlier Saturday that it's also preparing for the possible closure of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel.
Other bridges are expected to remain open for traffic, although travel will become increasingly more hazardous. VDOT is encouraging motorists to stay off the roads until the storm passes.
Also in Norfolk, the Virginia-Pilot reports that the Coast Guard was called to rescue a 30-foot sailboat that was in distress.