Latest Hurricane Florence storm track.
Updated information includes:
- Hurricane Florence has weakened slightly to Category 3 hurricane, with winds near 125 mph (201 kph). It is still considered “extremely dangerous.”
- How Asheville Fire Department is helping in the storm zone.
- Link for shelters in the storm zone.
The City of Asheville continues to monitor the path of Hurricane Florence and staff are prepared for storm response.
On Wednesday afternoon, it was announced that the storm has weakened slightly to Category 3 hurricane, with winds near 125 mph (201 kph). It is still considered “extremely dangerous.” Hurricane Florence is now expected to blow ashore Saturday morning along the North Carolina-South Carolina line, the National Hurricane Center said.
At the North Fork Dam, Water Resources is following its Operations Plan, releasing small amounts of water to build in capacity for a major rain event, in case the storm heads this way. The slow release of water from the dam is designed to minimize impacts downstream.
Stormwater Services has crews out clearing storm drains of debris that may have accumulated during the summer.
Find official Hurricane Florence weather information on the National Weather Service website.
Ways you can prepare
At this time, we would like to remind residents to sign up for AVL Alert, the City’s emergency notification system. Signing up is quick and easy and you can receive alerts for up to five locations. That may include your residence, an elderly relative’s residence, your child’s school, etc. Here is a link to a how-to video on AVL Alert registration.
You can also download the NC Emergency Management app, ReadyNC, or follow the agency at this link.
We also urge residents to assemble an emergency kit, to include flashlight and batteries, bottled water, non-perishable food and other supplies. Find a federal government-recommended list at this link.
Where to find official information
If the storm heads our way, the City of Asheville will post links to official emergency information on the City of Asheville website and on the Asheville Fire Department’s Twitter feed.
Information will also be posted on the City of Asheville Facebook page and Twitter feed. This may include street closures, in case of localized flooding.
Also NC Emergency Management has a list of shelters open at this link. So far, no shelters are open in the mountains area of the state.
Asheville Fire Department assists in storm zone
In an update to Asheville City Council Tuesday, Interim Fire Chief Chris Budzinski said that the Asheville Fire Department has been requested by NC Emergency Management to deploy or make preparations to deploy resources to assist with storm response, such as swift water rescue.
Asheville Fire Department’s Medic 1 is in Pender County to assist with transporting people due to evacuations.
A communications trailer has been sent to Kinston as well. This includes three personnel, equipped with emergency radio.
Asheville Fire Department Division Chief Jeremy Knighton has been deployed Kinston to serve at a communications leader for NC Emergency Management.
“Even with these resources deployed, the City of Asheville can assure the community that we are prepared for a local storm response,” said AFD spokeswoman Kelley Klope. “We have enough local resources to serve the people of Asheville.”
If you encounter flooding
Finally, we urge everyone to take safety precautions anytime they encounter a flooded road. “Turn around, don’t drown.” Just 6 inches of fast-moving water can knock over and carry off an adult. Twelve inches of water can float a small car.
City staff are on alert and prepared, in case hurricane aftermath affects our area.
State of emergency declared
President Donald Trump has declared states of emergency for North and South Carolina and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid. Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency for North Carolina as well.
All three states ordered mass evacuations along the coast.
Gov. Cooper encouraged North Carolinians to heed the evacuation orders.
“Even if you’ve ridden out storms before, this one is different,” the governor said. “Don’t bet your life on riding out a monster.”