Be Prepared: Florence may cause problems for the Mid-Ohio Valley

“The phrase of the day is ‘Be Prepared.'”

Wood County 911 Director Rick Woodyard wants everyone in our region to understand the rain that led to our current river flooding is not the end of the weather headed for the Mid-Ohio Valley. Hurricane Florence is coming.

High winds — potentially nearing 40 mph by the weekend — and more rain hitting a region where the rivers and creeks are already swollen and the ground is saturated could be a recipe for disaster.

“Precautionary planning for this should include preparing for power outages as well as rain totals,” Woodyard said.

Projections for the path and strength of Florence are changing by the minute, “so people have to be aware of the conditions around them,” he added.

There is no need for a Chicken Little approach to the situation, but it is important to calmly prepare for the possibility of power outages, high water, mudslides and closed roads. Stock up, make sure your generators have fuel, have a means of keeping an eye on the weather and your surroundings, keep your cell phones fully charges, and don’t lose track of your common sense.

Should conditions become concerning, don’t forget your pets; and check in on your family and neighbors.

Keep an eye upriver, too.

“If you see something happening in Pittsburgh, then you have about a day to get ready for it here,” Woodyard said. “Whatever happens in Wheeling, you have about 12 hours to prepare.”

There’s that word again. Prepare. Don’t panic.

Florence is coming. We just don’t know, yet, how badly she will affect the Mid-Ohio Valley. It is possible she could cause some serious problems, or do almost nothing at all.

Don’t take chances. Heed Woodyard’s advice. Be prepared.