Governor Jim Justice has directed the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (WVDHSEM) and the West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) to prepare for potential emergency situations in West Virginia due to the anticipated impacts of Hurricane Florence. The West Virginia National Guard will provide initial logistics support for FEMA efforts as the hurricane makes landfall.
Both WVDHSEM and the WVNG 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," said Governor Jim Justice. "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 flood waters!”
Currently, the WVNG 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 via Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) agreements.
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 system.