Carr Boyd Director of Botetourt Emergencey Services had a few pointers to share with county residents during the next 48 hours when high winds from Hurricane Sandy move through a 900 mile path along the eastern seaboard.
“If there could be any benefit to the Derecho this summer, it did take down a lot of deadwood and allowed for debris to be cleared away.” Boyd stated about the potential for extended high winds associated with Hurricane Sandy.
A power outage possibility is likely one of the greatest potential threats of this storm effect in Botetourt County. Currently wind between 40-60 miles per hour with higher gusts is expected throughout the I-81 corridor in the valley and Botetourt County. For more on weather updates follow Roanoke Times weather forecaster Kevin Myatt. Myatt can also be followed on Twitter at @KevinMyattWx and use #swvawx to join the conversation.
“While we will not be impacted the same way as the coastlines and the northern path, this storm should still produce high winds, rain and possibly snow. We are expecting another update later this morning from the National Weather Service,” said Boyd
Boyd urged every one who has not joined the County’s ENS call system to do so. Click here.
He sent a long some power outage tips for home as well as out and about from VDEM:
General Information for the public from VDEM:
If power is out, use flashlights, not candles.
• Remember – Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. Do not bring generators into the house. Don’t use camp stoves and lanterns without ventilation. Neveruse stoves for heating. Any of these can cause deadly buildup of carbon monoxide. If using a space or kerosene heater, practice proper safety procedures.
• Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed as long as possible to maintain the cold temperature.
What to watch out for:
• If a traffic signal is out, drivers are advised to treat the intersection as a four way stop.
• Never drive through water flowing across a road. It takes only six to 12 inches of water to float a small vehicle.
• Never drive around barricades. Remember, the road has been closed for your safety.
• Slow down when driving through standing water. Driving too fast through water could cause you to lose control and hydroplane.
• Avoid flood-prone areas, especially along creeks and other low-lying areas. Water in those areas can rise quickly and without warning during heavy rains.
• In the event of a flash flood warning for your area, seek high ground immediately.
• Watch for debris on the roadway. If you encounter a downed power line, do not try to move the line. Downed trees may contain power lines. Contact VDOT or Dominion Virginia Power.
Messages to motorists:
• Limit travel during height of storm.
• Monitor local weather and traffic reports before getting into the car.
• Before heading out the door, get the latest road conditions by calling 511, visit www.511virginia.org or download the mobile app from the 511 web site.
• Use 9-1-1 only in emergencies. Dial #77 on cell phone to report traffic crashes or traffic emergencies to State Police.
• State law requires headlights to be on when windshield wipers are activated.
• Motorists must use extreme caution on the road and never attempt to drive through flood waters.
• Remain alert to avoid fallen trees.
• Drive free of distractions and always buckle up.
What should residents be doing now?
• Final emergency preparations should be completed now.
• Stay tuned to local TV and radio stations for instructions and information. Those in eastern Virginia who live in low-lying areas should be ready to evacuate if told to do so by local officials.
Otherwise keep Cell phones charged and ready, have batteries for flashlights and exercise caution. Boyd concluded by saying, “Treat the storm as seriously as possible during the next couple of days and use good judgement when at home and on the road.”
Again, click here to sign up for the Botetourt County Emergency Notification System call system.