Pulaski County has officially declared a local State of Emergency as a matter of due diligence in advance of Hurricane Florence’s arrival. The National Hurricane Center says it is still too early to predict the storm’s exact path as it moves across the Atlantic hundreds of kilometers away, but County officials are being deliberate in evaluating possible impacts to the community and taking inventory of assets and resources that could be brought to bear if the county were to experience the associated rain and high winds.
“The County has excellent emergency services staff and volunteers that are being highly cognitive as they prepare and proactively gear up for this possible weather event,” stated Jonathan D. Sweet, County Administrator. “We are communicating early and often with the state’s emergency operations personnel and strategically planning with our key agencies and various community partners.”
Pulaski County held a well attended strategic planning session this afternoon with many of its local, regional and state agencies and departments to identify early measures that could be taken in advance to prepare the community for what some are calling a ‘severe flooding potential’. The meeting hosted a situation briefing by Josh Tolbert, Pulaski County Emergency Services Coordinator and yielded updates from each agency and department on their individual and collective roles in preparing for and responding to the event.
The National Hurricane Center is currently projecting the storm’s path to hit North Carolina’s shore by Thursday morning at a major hurricane status and will hopefully downgrade by the time it reaches the interior of Virginia. Currently, the probable path of the eye of the storm is heading for Southwest Virginia and is expected to deliver significant rainfall and sustained high winds.
Governor Northam recently declared a statewide emergency for the Commonwealth on Friday, Sept. 8 2018, nearly a week ahead of the expected brunt of impact. The order is designed to help Virginia mitigate any damage caused by the expected high winds and excessive rainfall, and to streamline the process that the Commonwealth uses to provide assistance to impacted localities and municipalities.
“The County is echoing the warnings from the Governor’s office calling for citizens to make preparations preparations for a significant weather event that could lead to severe localized flooding, high winds and a loss of power and the ability to travel,” shared Josh Tolbert, Emergency Services Coordinator. “It is critical for our citizens to heed the words of warning and take all necessary safety precautions to help keep their families, friends, pets, and property safe.”