Roanoke City Manager Bob Cowell has declared a local state of emergency as Hurricane Florence approaches the U.S. mainland. Cowell says even if forecast impacts here have diminished in recent days, a significant amount of uncertainty and risk remain. The declaration ensures access to outside funding that would help recoup costs of response or recovery efforts that might become necessary.

From the City of Roanoke: Roanoke City Manager Bob Cowell has declared a local state of emergency to exist within the City of Roanoke pursuant to Section 44-146.21(a), Code of Virginia (1950), as amended and in accordance with the City of Roanoke 2016 Emergency Operations Plan. City Council will confirm this action at its next regularly scheduled session on Monday, Sept. 17.

“Though forecasted conditions for our area appear to have improved slightly, there remains a significant amount of uncertainty and risk,” said Mr. Cowell.  “Out of an abundance of caution, I have issued a Declaration of a Local Emergency this morning. This action will also help ensure access to outside funding to assist in defraying costs associated with response or recovery from impact of the Hurricane. The Declaration is consistent with the action taken by Governor Northam on Sept. 8, and I believe prudent at this time.  I ask the residents of Roanoke to join us in continuing to prepare for a worst-case scenario, while praying for a best-case outcome.  Advanced preparations make individuals, families, and our first responders safer.”

To see a list of frequently asked questions regarding preparation for the storm, click on this link.  In response to the potential hazardous weather conditions Roanoke may experience from the storm, the following actions are recommended.

Key Safety Messages:

1. Prepare an emergency kit and enough food and water to last for at least 72 hours.

2. Do not attempt to drive in flowing water. #TurnAroundDontDrown

3. If you require special health or medical accommodations in Emergency Situations and power outages, please fill out the confidential Emergency Needs Registry form.

4. For immediate updates, please enter your phone number into Emergency Management’s Reverse 9-1-1 Citizen Phone Alert system.

5. To report a power outage, please contact Appalachian Power at 1-800-956-4237.

6. To report a water or sewage emergency, please contact the Western Virginia Water Authority at 540-853-5700.

7. Calls or texts to 911 should be reserved for medical, fire, or police emergency situations only.