West Virginia Headlines

West Virginia emergency centers prepare for Florence aftermath

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (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 received a tour of the Metro 911 center in Kanawha County, as storm preps continued.

She spoke with a local ambulance worker who is now in North Carolina to help.

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 Kanawha County Commissioner Kent Carper. 

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

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," said Kanawha County Homeland Security Director C.W. Sigman. "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." 

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," said Senator Capito (R-West Virginia). "We have $25 billion in that fund right now and we'll have access to another $8 billion." 

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. 

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