CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Hurricane Florence hasn’t made landfall yet but the Category 4 storm has the attention of emergency workers in Charlotte.
“Be prepared. With the winds and the amount of rain we’re going to see we’re going to have trees down, power lines down. We’re going to lose power, Charlotte Fire Chief Reginald Johnson. “So please be aware that this is coming. This is going to be a dangerous storm and we need to be prepared.”
City officials say the hurricane’s track shows Charlotte will be affected and will likely start to feel the effects Friday night into Saturday. They say the storm is projecting sustained winds of 30-35 mph.
Chief Johnson says the forecasted rain totals of 8-to-12 inches is the big concern.
“We are going to see some flooding here in the city,” Chief Johnson said. “The fire department has prepared. We are going to be up-staffing units, putting additional fire apparatus in service starting Friday evening.”
Johnson is reminding residents to have emergency kits ready; be prepared to be without power for three to four days; have water, non-perishable foods don’t forget the pets.
“Make a family communications plan,” said Chief Robert Graham, the Deputy Director of CharMeck Emergency Management. “Know where your family is going to be and make sure you can communicate with them.”
Chief Graham says the emergency shelters will be open.
Five shelters will be activated for evacuees from the North Carolina coast.
“The safety of Mecklenburg County residents is our primary focus and planning efforts are in place to open shelters for local residents should the need arise,” Graham said. “Basically what we’re saying is we’re not going to turn anybody away. However, this time the shelters are open primarily for folks who are evacuating from the coast because they’re the one who are going to need sheltering.
Chief Graham added, “that being said everyone is Charlotte once we get the shelters open is more than welcome to go to any shelter.”
The shelters are at East Mecklenburg High School, North Mecklenburg Olympic Schools and Ardrey Kell High School.
Emergency agencies say residents need to stay in touch for information by signing up for CharMeck alerts to get notifications based on your location.
They say people can also text the word CHARMECK to 88777 to get text updates specific to this weather incident.
You also go to Charlottenc.gov and click on the alert banner.
Chief Graham reiterated that residents should plan to have 72 hours of emergency supplies; one gallon of water per person per day; non-perishable foods, flashlights, extra batteries, hand powered radio, back up battery bank for cell phone and important medications and documentation.