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Albemarle Charlottesville Emergency Operations Center Opens - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Albemarle Charlottesville Emergency Operations Center Opens

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First responders in Albemarle and Charlottesville are keeping a close eye on Hurricane Sandy. The Regional Emergency Command Center has opened an operations center to coordinate the response to the storm.

As of Monday afternoon, the emergency operations center is at a level one activation. That puts police, fire and rescue crews all under the same roof. The move sets up the ability to have a regional approach and response to the storm as it nears.

These first responders will also work closely with the Virginia Department of Transportation and utility crews to deal with downed trees and power lines.

Albemarle County Spokesperson Lee Catlin said, "We're still in the early stages and some uncertainty about the exact impacts but we're making sure we have the resources mobilized that we may need. Making sure that for example police, firefighters and rescue workers are on the right shifts when we need them to be available."

A nonemergency line has been established for those who have questions. That number is 434-979-INFO. A regional emergency website has also been setup.

 


Hurricane Sandy Regional Public Information Update (9:45 P.M.) -

The Emergency Operations Center that officials from Albemarle County, Charlottesville and the University activated Monday morning at 8:00 am at the Emergency Communications Center on Ivy Drive is still in operation.  Officials at the EOC are closely monitoring the storm's progress and potential impacts on the community and have resources available to manage our community's response.  All official regional public information regarding the Hurricane Sandy situation will be released from the  EOC, the public information contact until midnight is Miriam Dickler, Charlottesville, (434) 260-2433, media will be notified as new regional public information staff assume that responsibility.

All regional public information is being posted to a joint website – www.communityemergency.org  – which will be updated on a regular basis with the most accurate and up-to-date information available.  Also, the non-emergency information line – (434) 979-INFO – has been activated and is staffed to respond to general storm-related inquiries.

Some in our area are experiencing power outages.  If your power goes out, contact your utility provider:

Down power lines are dangerous.  Do not touch power lines that are on the ground.

To avoid injuries from falling power lines or flying debris, people are asked to remain inside as much as possible.  Many businesses and services are closed Tuesday.  Check that your destination is open before heading out and avoid unnecessary travel.

With power outages, many people will begin using gas-powered appliances and charcoal or gas grills for electricity and cooking. Carbon monoxide exposure from these sources can be deadly. The Virginia Department of Health recommends the following precautions to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Do not burn charcoal or gas grills inside a house, garage, vehicle, tent or fireplace.
  • Never use a generator indoors, including in homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces and other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation.  Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide build-up in the home. 
  • Always locate the unit outdoors on a dry surface, away from doors, windows, vents and air-conditioning equipment that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
  • Follow the instructions that come with your generator.  Position the unit outdoors and away from doors, windows, vents and air conditioning equipment that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. 

There is snowfall along ridge tops at 2000ft or higher, motorists who are driving in those areas should be alert to that possibility.

While there may be some flooding associated with the rainfall, the major anticipated impact to our area remains the wind threat – wind speeds are increasing in our region and gusts are expected through Tuesday.

 

Temperatures in our area will fall into the 40s tonight, with wind chill making it feel colder.  Be prepared for colder weather, wear layers and stay indoors.

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