Residents along the coastline are preparing for storm surge, high winds, and possibly rainfall up to 30 inches.
Back in West Virginia, there is a chance that some parts could see inland flooding from Florence. Some weather models are indicating that the Mountain State could see impacts from the storm.
So local organizations like Appalachian Power and the American Red Cross are preparing the state ahead of time. Joelle Moray, the External Affairs Manager at AEP, says, “Everything is still a little uncertain as most people know.” Jesse Hott, the Disaster Program Specialist for American Red Cross, says, “For right now we’re basically looking at West Virginia’s needs are going to be.”
The Ohio Valley’s AEP service territory also covers Virginia and a little piece of Tennessee, so AEP is ready to go.
But a lot of decisions can’t be made just yet until Florence makes landfall. Sharon Kesselring, the Executive Director of American Red Cross NW WV says, “Once Florence has come ashore, we’re going to have a much better idea of whether there will be impact in West Virginia.”
If the Mountain State gets spared from Florence, both the American Red Cross and AEP will be sending volunteers down to the impacted areas to help out. Kesselring says they will help with evacuation centers, overnight shelters, etc. Moray says AEP would be specifically helping with power restoration and storm recovery.
Hundreds of volunteers from across the Mountain State are on standby to help out no matter where they go. Moray says, “Weather affects everyone, and you see a lot of people come together. Communities come together to help each other out.”
Florence is expected to make landfall in the Carolinas sometime Friday or Saturday.