Preparations are being made as what could be one of the largest storms to hit Stokes County in a while.
Stokes County Emergency Services Director Greg Collins said county EMS responders were doing everything they could to prepare for possible flooding in the county and the potential for high winds in the next three days.
“With the ground already being so saturated we have the potential for flash flooding and flooding,” said Collins. “Winds could be up to 20 to 25 miles per hour. There is a real potential for water damage and power outages in the county.”
According to Collins authorities are busy checking generators and other equipment, but he advised county residents to prepare to survive without power for up to 48 hours if necessary.
“Be prepared to be ready to take care of yourselves,” he said. “If you know a neighbor who is fragile please check on them. If you need emergency assistance then give us a call.
“The county offices will continue to operate,” he added. “We have people on standby in the event that something should happen.”
Collins said county residents needed to pay attention to National Weather Service warnings about floods and flash floods and warned drivers to never attempt to cross a flooded roadway.
“If the water is going across the road then turn around and don’t drown,” he said.
Gov. Pat McCrory has declared a state of emergency for all 100 North Carolina counties.
“We’ve had a fair amount of rain during the past week and the ground is saturated in many places,” Governor McCrory said on Thursday in a press statement. “The combination of wind gusts from various weather systems and any additional rain from [hurricane] Joaquin could lead to downed trees and power outages in many areas, not just the coast.”
Collins said that potential damage from Joaquin in other parts of the state could draw emergency crews from Stokes County.
“We are always on standby to go assist other counties,” he said. “If they need us they will call us.”
On the Governor’s website, Public Safety Secretary Frank L. Perry also said that most storm-related deaths are caused by flooding.
“If you see standing water, do not try to walk or drive through it,” he said. “Remember: turn around, don’t drown.”
Additional emergency items to have on hand, listed on the Governor’s website include a weather radio, flashlights, extra batteries, toiletries, change of clothes, blankets or sleeping bag, rain gear and appropriate footwear. Also include copies of important documents, such as birth certificates and insurance policies.
For more information, go to ReadyNC.org or download the free ReadyNC app for real-time weather, flooding, traffic and shelter information.