County Keeps Eye on Ernesto
Tropical Storm Ernesto has the potential to affect Moore County and surrounding areas.
County Public Safety Director Scot Brooks circulated storm warning information Tuesday morning to all fire departments, rescue squads, law-enforcement agencies and other community emergency services about that potential.
Brooks received an initial briefing from the National Weather Service in Raleigh in an e-mail Tuesday morning. The Tuesday afternoon briefing was in the form of a conference call.
"The public should always be prepared in times like this," Brooks said.
The National Weather Service was warning of the possibility that the storm could sweep inland Thursday afternoon and continue into Friday. The effects could include heavy rains, with possible flooding, into the Carolinas. Conditions could also spawn tornadoes.
Although the likely location of such storm activity has not been pinpointed, Brooks said it is always wise to be prepared. He said residents of the area should stock up on food and emergency supplies just in case the storm delivers power outages or water problems lasting one or more days.
Brooks says emergency personnel are always prepared for disasters, but in times when storms threaten, additional alerts are issued.
"Everybody's been advised to fill up with gas and be ready to go, just in case it's needed," Brooks said.
Brooks cautions the public not to drive through standing water and to be alert to the possibility of heavy winds, downed trees and power lines. He says there is a risk of tornadoes.
The National Weather Service advisory says that a cold front will stall off the coast of southeastern North Carolina Thursday morning and a high pressure system will develop, pushing Ernesto offshore into the Carolinas, bringing the possibility of heavy rains Thursday into Friday in the areas from the foothills to the coast.
An exact location was not mentioned in the Tuesday advisory, which predicts rainfall over a 24-hour period with rainfall amounting to two to three inches in this area. Winds could reach 25 miles an hour with higher gusts up to 35 mph.
Brooks said it appears that if Moore County is affected at all, the county should be on the fringe of the storm, perhaps in the Cameron area and to the west.
He reiterated the need to be alert to the risk of isolated tornadoes and flash flooding from late Thursday through Friday.
Florence Gilkeson can be reached at 947-4962 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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