As storm surge flooding from Hurricane Sandy was occurring Monday along a broad swath of the East Coast, from New England to North Carolina, the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security warned residents to brace for the possibility of heavy snowfall.
Homeowners in the Daniels area of southern West Virginia reported snow falling Sunday night and some schools were closed on Monday. The Weather Channel predicted heavy snow Tuesday in the Snowshoe Resort area of the state, perhaps one of the few places that would welcome the snowfall.
Residents of all states in the path of Sandy were urged to heed the warning of local officials, prepare their homes for the weather expected in their area and evacuate if ordered. Emergency supplies and support personnel were also being moved into place from states not in the storm’s path, preparing for the time they would be needed.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin Sunday night provided West Virginians an update on his website regarding the state’s readiness, in preparation for severe weather conditions associated with Hurricane Sandy.
“While the path of Hurricane Sandy is more defined today, we cannot be certain of the impact this storm will have on our state,” Tomlin said. “For this reason, we are preparing for all scenarios and asking West Virginians to be prepared. Gather batteries, flash lights, bottled water, non-perishable food items, blankets, medications, a battery-operated radio and other necessities. Be sure to check on each other—family, friends and neighbors,”
“Our West Virginia National Guard and other resources are on stand-by, so that we may act quickly if needed,” Tomlin said. “Our Department of Highway staff is on call and ready—they have tested their plows and other snow equipment and are scheduled to begin work at midnight tonight. Additionally our utility companies are making preparations.”
President Obama added Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Connecticut to the list of states where an emergency exists and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from Hurricane Sandy.
The President had previous taken the same action in New Jersey, the District of Columbia, New York, Massachusetts and Maryland.
The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in all counties in the State of Rhode Island.