The latest on the storm:
Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall around Wilmington, North Carolina early Friday morning. The National Weather Service continues to warn of the potential for significant weather across our region despite the storm’s shift slightly further south along with slower forward speed. Florence has been downgraded now to a Category 2 storm. Flooding rainfall especially remains a major concern for our forecast area, especially late in the weekend and during the first half of next week. Florence could linger for several days into next week and still result in extremely heavy potentially catastrophic flooding rainfall across the mountains. We will start to feel winds today from 7 to 13 mph and clouds will begin to move in. Winds will increase to 13 to 15 mph tonight with gusts up to 23 mph. Rain is expected here on Friday with winds 16 to 18 mph gusting to 28 and will continue through Tuesday of next week. Right now we are in the 4-6 inch range for precipitation related to Florence.
Hospitals are ready:
Sovah Health has initiated its emergency response plan and is proactively taking steps to prepare for the potential impact of Hurricane Florence. As part of its emergency response plan, Sovah Health is preparing employees and providers to ensure they are well-equipped to serve the region during this critical time of need. Extra staff will be available to accommodate higher patient volumes and to support the transfer of patients to neighboring facilities, as needed. Hospital leaders are working around-the-clock to ensure that the facility will have the appropriate capacity and supplies to continue caring for patients and supporting staff in the days ahead. Sovah Health is closely collaborating with the Emergency Management offices in Danville & Pittsylvania County and Martinsville & Henry County to stay abreast of the latest storm developments, collaborate on appropriate response protocols and provide updates to the communities.
Appalachian Power ready:
Appalachian Power is preparing for the potential of widespread power outages as Hurricane Florence approaches. Employees and contractors will be moved into areas that will likely experience damage and outages. Crews from Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan are ready to help if they are needed. As with any severe weather event, crews will not be able to safely make any needed repairs while wind gusts are high.
Groceries stocked and available:
Kroger officials say they have two deliveries coming into stores daily with extra driver helping to handle the higher volume of shoppers. Stores are being heavily stocked with water, milk, dry ice and ice, bread, canned goods, and other high-need items. Kroger has also ordered extra distributions of water to all stores. Generators will keep the stores running in the event of power outages.