Virginia emergency agencies prepare for Hurricane Ian’s impact

Parts of the Commonwealth could see heavy rain and potential flooding this weekend as Hurricane Ian moves along the east coast

Emergency Management Agencies across the state are preparing as Hurricane Ian makes its way along the east coast.

ROANOKE, Va. – You can never be too prepared, especially when a hurricane is coming your way.

Emergency Management Agencies across the state are preparing as Hurricane Ian makes its way along the east coast.

Trevor Shannon, the Battalion Chief of Emergency Management for the city of Roanoke, said there are several parts of preparation the team is working on.

“We’re looking at all different perspectives. Number one is many other states or other localities need our assistance. So with that, do we have the staffing to be able to put in place here in the valley to make sure that all of our trucks stay in service … we still respond to local calls,” Shannon said.

While Roanoke EMS works to organize staffing to respond to flash flooding areas, they also want to make sure they have enough staff to respond to areas in the Roanoke Valley, if needed.

“We’re just trying to make sure that we have staffing here, in case we get localized flash flooding, which is pretty common with significant rainfall here in the valley. So we certainly do our part to prepare for that as well,” Shannon said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is also sending down a 12-man incident management assistance team to help out efforts across the commonwealth.

MaryAnn Tierney, the Regional Administrator for FEMA Region Three, said there are two areas of primary concern for when Hurricane Ian makes its way to the state.

“Our primary areas of concern are the Southeast and Southwest parts of Virginia. So with the southeast coast, bay flooding is possible. Non-tropical tidal flooding is possible as the bands of Ian come on shore and hold water in place coupled with the rainfall. And in Southwest a part of Virginia, rainfall intersecting with the mountainous terrain could cause flash flooding,” Tierney said.

The incident management assistance team will monitor areas needing help during the storm and will remain in the area until the incident becomes stabilized.

“As you know, Southwest Virginia has had some substantial flash flooding over the past year, which is one of the reasons why we’re particularly concerned about the potential impacts of Ian in that area,” Tierney said.

About the Author:

Connor Dietrich joined the 10 News team in June 2022. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, he's ready to step away from the Rockies and step into the Blue Ridge scenery.