CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is advising state residents to prepare immediately for potential effects of Hurricane Florence.
A news release from the governor’s office said Justice has directed the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the West Virginia National Guard to prepare for potential emergency situations in West Virginia due to the anticipated fallout of Hurricane Florence.
The West Virginia National Guard will provide initial logistics support for FEMA efforts as the hurricane makes landfall.
Both Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the National Guard are monitoring weather reports and river gauges for potential impacts this week while working closely with other agencies at both the state and federal levels for planning, preparedness and response purposes.
"All West Virginians need to prepare immediately for the potential impact Hurricane Florence may bring to the Mountain State," Justice said in the news release. "West Virginians should continue to monitor local weather forecasts, reports and information distributed by local emergency officials, news, and radio stations. And please, do not endanger yourselves, your loved ones or our first responders by trying to drive through floodwaters.”
Currently, the Guard is readying plans, personnel and equipment for possible deployment should conditions warrant. The West Virginia National Guard Swift Water Rescue Team, liaison officers for county emergency operations centers, flood response teams and other assets are being prepared in the event deployment is requested either in West Virginia or in surrounding states.
On Tuesday, Justice issued a "State of Preparedness" proclamation that covers the entire state. The proclamation allows for the mobilization of resources to help with preparation for any potential flooding or storm related damage. The governor also has instructed all state agencies to exercise their appropriate authorities associated with the State of Preparedness, the news release said.
Florence is expected to make landfall in the Carolinas late this week as a major hurricane. Areas of West Virginia including the Eastern Panhandle, Potomac Highlands, Mountain Lakes, and New River/Greenbrier Valley regions of the state may see significant rainfall from this