Yadkin County emergency personnel on standby for local hurricane, flood response

By Kitsey Burns Harrison - kburns@yadkinripple.com
Volunteers at Boonville, as well as other fire departments across the county, are on standby as Hurricane Florence continues to move slowly across the state. -
Yadkin Emergency Services Director Keith Vestal shows County Chairman Kevin Austin a GIS map of potential flooding impacts in the county. -

Yadkin County Commissioner Kevin Austin spoke to local media outlets on Saturday afternoon warning that area residents, particularly those in flood prone areas, should remain on guard as Hurricane Florence makes her excruciatingly slow approach towards the region.

“Since Tuesday our EOC (Emergency Operations Center) has been prepared and open,” Austin said. “We declared an emergency on Wednesday morning and the EOC has continued to monitor and adjust their plans since that time.

“The expected effects have been changing rapidly, initially it looked like the storm was going to come on shore and come directly for Yadkin County and as we’ve all seen, it’s kind of changed. So now the effects are a little different than we were planning for. We’re looking at a two stage event here. We’re looking at high winds and heavy rains over the next 24 to 48 hours but then when everyone thinks the storm has cleared out, we are preparing for tremendous amounts of flooding in the county which will probably arrive Tuesday and peak during Wednesday and last through Thursday, so we’re very concerned about that.”

Austin praised the work of emergency personnel who have been on call preparing for the storm all week. He noted that county’s GIS Coordinator has also been working on maps that could indicate where major flooding issues could occur so that officials could be better prepared.

“All our fire departments are standing by manning each station,” said Yadkin County Fire Marshal Ricky Leonard. Local departments are reporting into the EOC and will continue to do so as the event continues. The departments are on standby to assist with downed trees and other emergencies that may arise due to the storm.

Lt. Jordan Key at the Boonville Fire Department said their volunteers had been making use of the extra time at the station to check equipment and run some training drills.

As of Saturday afternoon it was still very much a waiting game as the area has yet to see any major effects from Hurricane Florence. Officials reiterate the importance, however, of staying aware of the situation, particularly for people who live in flood zones near the Yadkin River or other waterways.

The Yadkin County Hurricane Florence information line is 336-849-7713.

Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-518-3049 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.

Volunteers at Boonville, as well as other fire departments across the county, are on standby as Hurricane Florence continues to move slowly across the state.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_IMG_8306-1.jpgVolunteers at Boonville, as well as other fire departments across the county, are on standby as Hurricane Florence continues to move slowly across the state.

Yadkin Emergency Services Director Keith Vestal shows County Chairman Kevin Austin a GIS map of potential flooding impacts in the county.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_IMG_8275-1.jpgYadkin Emergency Services Director Keith Vestal shows County Chairman Kevin Austin a GIS map of potential flooding impacts in the county.

By Kitsey Burns Harrison

kburns@yadkinripple.com