Governor McDonnell declares State of Emergency
Governor Bob McDonnell has declared a state of emergency in Virginia in preparation for Hurricane Sandy.
Here is a statement from the Governor:
“We are issuing this state of emergency today as a precautionary measure in order to ensure that we are ready for any potential effects of Hurricane Sandy in the Commonwealth. Weather forecasters are predicting significant weather impacts across much of Virginia, and a long duration event. Due to the track of this storm, and the fact that it will be a hurricane transitioning into a more nor’easter-like system, we could see severe weather lasting for 48 hours or more in the state. In that scenario, saturated soil coupled with high winds could lead to major tree damage and extensive power outages. Now is the time for all Virginians to prepare for those possible power outages and disruptions to public services. In addition, forecasters predict falling temperatures during and behind this system, and in areas that suffer power outages this will lead to new challenges in the days after the storm departs. Virginians should make sure their family members, friends and neighbors are prepared for this extended weather event. I encourage all Virginians to gather batteries, blankets, water, canned goods, and other necessities prior to the anticipated onset of storm conditions late Saturday and early Sunday.”
Eastern Virginia residents who live in low-lying areas should be ready to evacuate ahead of the storm.
If an evacuation is ordered for your area, take your emergency supplies with you, including all medications. For a list of suggested emergency supplies you should collect for your family, visit: http://www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia/getakit.
A state of emergency is declared under state law so that state resources can be made available. The governor’s emergency declaration ensures a fully coordinated state response to support local initial recovery efforts. A declaration also decreases time needed to get personnel, equipment and supplies on scene.
State agencies are preparing for Sandy in the following ways:
- The Commonwealth has activated the Virginia Emergency Response Team.
- The Virginia Emergency Operations Center is coordinating the state’s response with increased staffing available 24 hours a day.
- Virginia State Police personnel have been placed on stand-by and will be pre-positioned to the areas where they will be needed based on the final projected path of the hurricane. The Virginia State Police Swift Water Rescue Team is standing by in strategic locations.
- Chainsaw crews from the Virginia Department of Forestry are standing by with emergency response personnel and to help with debris removal.
- Virginia Department of Transportation crews are ready to clear roads and ensure roads are safe for travel.
- The Virginia National Guard has been authorized to bring personnel on state active duty and begin prepositioning resources.
- The Virginia Department of Health is coordinating with hospitals and long-term care facilities to ensure that they are prepared for storm impacts.
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