The City of Morganton is mobilizing resources to ensure crews and equipment are ready if Hurricane Florence affects the area. While the current forecast from the National Weather Service does not predict a severe impact on the Morganton area, putting resources in place ahead of a weather event allows the City to be ready for whatever may happen.
The City’s Public Works Department is making sure all equipment is functioning as normal and is ready to be used, and crews will be ready to respond to storm damage if it occurs. The public can call 828-438-5248 to report debris and hazards. To report a power outage, call 828-438-5277.
“If there is storm damage, the Streets Department is prepared to be in hazard mitigation and debris removal,” said Public Works Director Scott Lookadoo. “We have prepared equipment to respond as necessary to protect the public and public property.”
The Electric Services Department has notified all of its employees to be on standby and to be ready to respond over the weekend as Hurricane Florence approaches North Carolina.
“We are prepping our trucks tomorrow and Friday, making sure they have all the necessary equipment on them and that our crews have the right tools for the job,” said Electric Services Director Brooks Kirby.
Kirby said that all of the City’s linemen have volunteered to help in other cities that will be affected by Hurricane Florence if Morganton is spared the worst of the storm.
“If we are spared, our crews will make sure our systems are OK, and then we will send some of our employees to help in cities and towns severely affected by the hurricane,” Kirby said.
The City’s Water and Wastewater treatment plants have all of their generators full of fuel and service ready. There are back-up generators ready to be deployed to pumping stations if power is lost. All treatment chemical supplies are at full capacity, and all available staff is on stand-by and ready if the storm becomes severe.
All Public Safety personnel have been placed on emergency stand-by and platoons, including fire services, have been informed that they are to operate at full-staff beginning this weekend.
Pertinent Public Safety vehicles and equipment, including generators, have been fueled and tested. Officers have spent the past two days organizing cone trailers and dispersing barricades to certain fleet vehicles in the event roads need to be closed or become impassable.
All designated areas that are prone to flooding will be monitored throughout the duration of the event. If a road appears to be covered in water, do not attempt to drive through the area – turn around. It only takes six inches of moving water to knock over an adult, and 12 inches of rushing water can carry away a small car.
In addition, Public Safety is in contact with Burke County Emergency Management for updates on the hurricane and implementation of the Emergency Operations Center for the duration of the event.
“We are taking the necessary precautions to handle whatever Hurricane Florence brings our way,” said City Manager Sally Sandy. “Our resources are at the ready and we are prepared. While we do not believe there is a significant threat to our citizens based on the current forecast, we encourage people to prepare for the storm since hurricanes are unpredictable.”
The time to put an emergency kit together is before a disaster. An emergency kit is a container of items your family may need in or after an emergency. Most of the items can be found in your house. It is important to put them in one place. Be sure every family member knows where the kit is kept.
Again, while severe affects from Hurricane Florence are not expected to be experienced in our area, being ready for an emergency helps you and your family be prepared for anything that happens. ReadyNC.org recommends these items be included in your kit:
- Water - 1 gallon per person per day for 3 to 7 days
- Food – non-perishable and canned food supply for 3 to 7 days
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio with extra batteries
- Cell phone with charger
- First aid kit and first aid book
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Manual can opener for food
- Anti-bacterial hand wipes or gel
- Wrench or pliers to turn off water
- Blanket or sleeping bag – 1 per person
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Seasonal change of clothing, including sturdy shoes
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, feminine supplies
- Extra keys for your house and car
- Important documents – insurance policies, copy of driver’s license, Social Security card, bank account records
- Fire extinguisher
- Cash and change
- Books, games or cards
You and your family members may have special needs. You need to plan for those needs when making your emergency supply kit.
- Baby wipes
- Soap/Baby powder
- Canned food and juices
- Contact lenses and supplies
- Extra eye glasses
For people with Functional Needs:
- Container for hearing aid/cochlear implant processor (to keep dry)
- Extra batteries for hearing aid/choclear implant
- Communication card explaining best way to communicate with you