Lynchburg first responders tell residents to stay home during Hurricane Florence

In press conference Tuesday, first responders tell residents to prepare

LYNCHBURG, Va. – The city of Lynchburg is stressing safety and want people to stay in their homes this weekend.

In a 30 minute, press conference, several city officials took the podium to advise people what to expect come Friday, and how they should prepare for Hurricane Florence.

One important thing first responders want people to do, is stay in their homes unless it's an emergency.

In April, a driver wasn't paying attention and struck a Lynchburg police officer who was directing traffic after the tornado.

Five months later, that officer is OK, but still at home recovering.

Ryan Zuidema, interim police chief, said with their experience in these last storms, authorities notice a lot more people leaving their house to take pictures or videos of the storm's aftermath. 
This time, he said, it won't be tolerated.

He says it puts the community and first responders at risk, and it hinders city officials from doing restoration work. 

"Stay home and stay off the roadways because when you don't, unfortunately, situations like that (arise) and we not only want our officers to be safe but we want our citizens to be safe as well," Zuidema said.

WSLS checked with surrounding counties. In Amherst, officials said the sheriff's office and public safety are making their weekend schedules. The county is also preparing to open shelters if needed.

In Campbell County, officials are monitoring the storm and asking residents to make an emergency home kit. 

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