North Lenoir Fire Rescue, Ayden Fire Department cautions residents
North Lenoir Fire Rescue Captain Brandon Ward and Assistant Chief Danny Smith, Jr. checking equipment in preparation for impacts from Hurricane Florence. Submitted photo.
Representatives of two local emergency services providers are offering sage advice for those in the path of Hurricane Florence.
"Residents of Eastern NC are urged to review their hurricane plans and complete their family's emergency kit in preparation of possible impacts from Hurricane Florence,” said Chris Decker, North Lenoir Fire Rescue Public Information Officer. "Lenoir County is likely to see significant wind impacts and the possibility of inland flooding due to prolonged exposure to heavy rainfall. Residents of low lying areas should remain vigilant and heed the advice of local officials if asked to evacuate."
“If people need help and a place to go, the Ayden Middle School will become an operating shelter as of Wednesday night,” said Ayden Fire Department Chief Sam Jones. “As for us, the fire and EMS services will continue as necessary until winds get to 45 mph. After that, it is at the discretion of the fire chief. There will be no 911 response after 60 mph. We’ll take the calls, but can’t respond until things die down and we’ll answer them in order.”
Jones said all storm preparations should be completed by Thursday. He advised that from Thursday onward, people needed to be able to be self-sufficient for at least five days. Anyone not able to accomplish this is advised to go to a shelter.
He also cautioned that people not take this storm too lightly. Even if Florence keeps turning more towards the south and west, it is still a very dangerous storm that can put a lot of people in harm’s way. People who venture out of their communities to see what has happened can inadvertently find themselves in a lot of danger.
“Once the winds die down, the waters will begin to rise and that's when the real problems begin," Jones said. "The other big thing to remember is that when the wind subsides, don’t go outside. A big problem is that people will start driving around, which could lead to people getting in trouble with high water or becoming trapped by downed power lines. These scenarios cause unnecessary issues for us.”
The Ayden Fire Department, and EMS Station, as well as most others in all of our communities in Eastern Carolina, are going to be manned round the clock to provide needed services to their communities. Still, authorities are asking people to take proper precautions, evacuate if necessary, and stay indoors until the storm has departed the region.