Virginia is shifting resources to prepare for potential flooding in southwest Virginia and to help with needs in North Carolina.
Governor Ralph Northam said Saturday afternoon that swift water rescue teams from other states are being repositioned to the western part of the state. They had been in eastern Virginia as Hurricane Florence approached the coast.
Virginia is also sending National Guard soldiers and vehicles and thousands of meals to shelters in North Carolina.
Here is the complete announcement from the governor's office:
Virginia emergency managers are working today to reposition state and federal resources stockpiled in advance of Hurricane Florence to assist Central and Coastal Virginia. State response leaders are working to move people and commodities into place to help Southwest Virginia with anticipated flooding from the remnants of Hurricane Florence, and to aid North and South Carolina response to the historic storm.
“I have been in contact with the governors of North and South Carolina and have offered the Commonwealth’s full support as our neighbors respond to catastrophic flooding associated with Florence,” Governor Northam said. “In Virginia, we are still expecting up to 12 inches of rain in Southwest and up the I-81 corridor, and as a result are repositioning state and federal assets to prepare for flooding and possible landslides early next week. Virginia is still in the path of storm once it makes its expected northern turn and now is not the time to let our guard down.”
Virginia today shipped 4,000 box lunches to Clinton, North Carolina to aid residents there. These were unused meals from Virginia hurricane shelters which have since closed. The Virginia National Guard has deployed 25 high-wheeled vehicles and 50 personnel to assist with rescue operations in North Carolina. The Commonwealth is also organizing personnel to assist with sheltering, healthcare and response operations requested by emergency managers in North and South Carolina.
Virginia emergency managers have shifted swift water rescue teams to Southwest Virginia to prepare for possible rescues there. These include swift water rescue teams from Utah, California, Tennessee, and Mississippi, as well as incident management teams from Colorado and California.
Virginia also has its own teams in place preparing for flooding. If these resources are not used in the Commonwealth as Florence passes though Virginia, they will be offered to assist in the Carolinas. Virginia is also making arrangements to assist in the long-term response and recovery efforts in the Carolinas.
Citizens must prepare for flooding and use caution if they travel this week. Check road conditions by logging on to www.511Virginia.org or by calling 511. And remember, “Turn around; Don’t drown” when you encounter flooded roads.
Residents in Southwest Virginia should prepare for flooding and can find out how at www.VAEmergency.gov/floods.