West Virginia

WV Emergency Centers Prepare for Florence Aftermath

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) - "How's it going? Is it raining down there?" asked Senator Shelley Moore Capito.

"It's supposed to get worse this afternoon," responded a Kanawha County Ambulance crew member in North Carolina.

Senator Shelly Moore Capito getting a tour of the Metro-911 center in Kanawha County, as storm preps continue. She spoke with a local ambulance worker who is now in North Carolina to help. But 911 leaders and the National Weather Service are concerned about remnants of the storm hitting West Virginia by Sunday. Right now the biggest worry is about flooding, and more.

"If we would get a huge amount of rain. Five, six, seven, eight, ten plus inches, it doesn't play well here in West Virginia with our topography," said Commissioner Kent Carper, Kanawha County.

"We've been messaging the same thing for several days. That as the remnants moves across the area, that a quick tornado is possible," said Jamie Casto Bielinski, National Weather Service-Charleston.  

The focus is on watching where the storm is now, and planning for how it might affect the Mountain State by Sunday:

"We're putting a lot of public information out. Letting people know what they are supposed to be doing, how to prepare for the storm. We've alerted all the emergency response agencies like the water rescue teams," said C.W. Sigman, Kanawha Co. Homeland Security Director.

And if the damage is heavy, federal aid will be requested.

"I do chair the Appropriations Committee for Homeland Security, which is all the disaster relief funds. We have $25 billion dollars in that fund right now. And we'll have access to another $8 billion," said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, (R) West Virginia.

Many of these workers could be staffing round the clock if conditions get bad.

"With the local effects of the storm still days away, waiting becomes he hardest part. But for now everyone here is prepared, and ready to respond," said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.

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