Lynchburg officials have declared a local state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Florence. Residents need to prepare for heavy winds, rain, and potential flooding as a result of the hurricane that is headed toward the east coast.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management said Florence may be Virginia's most significant hurricane event in decades.
Lynchburg officials say to prepare now for the storm that is expected to hit Thursday and Friday -- make sure you have your hurricane preparedness kit.
Here are some of the items to include in an emergency kit:
Food and Supplies
- At least a 3-day supply of water and non-perishable food
- Infant formula and diapers
- Pet food and supplies
- Medications for at least one week and copies of prescriptions
- Medical equipment
- First aid kit and antibiotic ointment
Tools and Safety Items
- Flashlight and batteries
- Multipurpose tool
- Hygiene and Sanitation
- Antibacterial soap and disinfectant
- Paper towels, toilet paper and towelettes
- Bleach and rubbing alcohol
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Also, be sure to have an emergency communication plan set in place, including all contacts of those in your household, as well as relatives and neighbors.
Also, fire and police officials are asking you to stay home once the hurricane lands in Virginia and to not go outside to take photos.
There will be barricades up as the impacts from the hurricane start to happen, officials ask you to not drive around them or move them. Some barricades will be pre-positioned to block certain streets that may be prone to flooding.
Also, do not drive through standing water.
There is an expectation for power outages -- avoid downed power lines and downed trees. AEP will be on standby in the case of downed trees and power lines.
Recent heavy rains have resulted in the ground already being water logged and will set the stage for potential flooding, especially in low-lying areas of the city.
If evacuations are ordered, do your best to comply as there is no guarantee you can get emergency help if you choose not to leave.
You may call 911 for emergencies and 211 for non-emergencies.
If needed, shelter will be available at the Salvation Army on Park Ave, but it is not yet open.
You can call 1-800-RedCross for any information on shelters for relatives in other areas in the path of the storm.
Residents are also encouraged to sign up for Lynchburg Alerts, the City’s emergency notification system online.
All Virginia localities are being advised to prepare for possible flooding, downed trees and power interruptions.