Sandy makes way up East Coast, hitting Morgantown on its way; Tomblin declares State of Emergency
Published: Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 08:10
West Virginia University and City of Morgantown officials are urging residents in Monongalia and surrounding areas to take precautions as tropical storm Sandy approaches.
The storm is expected to bring heavy rains and wind to the area today.
Narvel Weese, WVU’s vice president of administration and finance, said the University rarely closes entirely; however, he urges students and employees to use good judgment in deciding whether or not to attend classes or come to work based on the road and weather conditions in their individual locations.
Weese said in the event the University does close, many units will remain operational, including dining and residence hall services, roads and grounds crews, libraries and other facilities.
If power is lost and the PRT is shut down, the University is prepared to run buses as necessary, he said.
According to weather.com, Morgantown is under a high wind warning until noon Tuesday and a flood watch until 7 p.m. Tuesday.
A flood watch indicates, according to current forecasts, there is potential for flooding in the area.
According to weather.com, "prolonged and occasionally heavy rain associated with
post-tropical storm Sandy may cause flooding. Two inches or more of rain will lead to flooding of small creeks and streams. Widespread rain will have an impact on larger rivers."
Emergency management officials suggest being prepared to deal with power outages for up to 72 hours.
"Stocking up on non-perishable food, water, batteries, fuel, medications, pet supplies, etc. will allow residents to stay safely at home if they can do so," said Mike Wolfe, Interim Director of Monongalia County Homeland Security.
Yesterday, West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin declared a statewide state of emergency.
Along with his declaration, Tomblin activated 150 National Guard troops in the areas forecasted to be heavily impacted by the storm.
"Our troops will assist local responders in the areas we believe will be hardest hit by severe weather conditions," he said.
"Additionally, our Division of Highways folks began work last night. I continue to encourage West Virginians to prepare their families by gathering necessities," Tomblin said.
"I’ve already received calls from organizations willing to set up shelters, and I’m grateful for the outpouring of support so early in this emergency. I’m asking all West Virginians to please check on and assist your neighbors, especially seniors and others who may have difficulty preparing for and weathering this storm."
University officials are monitoring the situation, but urge students, faculty and staff to monitor local newscasts and University channels.
WVU urges students to examine outlets including WVUToday, E-News, MIX, InfoStations and the intranet to check for updates.
Students may also receive updates via the WVU emergency alert text messaging system.
To sign up for the University text alert system, visit www. emergency.wvu.edu/alert.
To learn more about storm preparedness, residents are encouraged to visit www.ready.wv.gov.