Emergency Management - Sept. 19, 2018
Local officials lifted the local state of emergency at 8 a.m. this morning. Mayor Allen Joines and Forsyth County Commissioners Chairman David Plyler declared the state of emergency Sept. 12 in case Hurricane Florence caused widespread damage in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.
The hurricane subsequently lost strength and shifted its path to the south, sparing the city and county.
City and county officials and other local partners have been involved in continuous emergency management storm planning and preparation efforts over the past seven days. Multiple teams from the city and county fire service water rescue teams and Emergency Medical Service personnel were on standby during the storm. The Winston-Salem Fire Department has deployed a 14-person water rescue team to Harnett County to assist in rescue and recovery efforts.
At the height of the storm from 8 a.m. Sunday to 8 a.m. Monday, city and county personnel responded to more than 180 storm-related calls for service, including trees down, minor flooding, power outages and blocked roads.
The Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum remains in service as a coastal evacuation shelter and was housing more than 350 evacuees as of last night. Local officials anticipate closing the shelter no later than Sept. 26, said August Vernon, the city-county director of emergency management.
"This storm allowed officials in the city and county to pressure-test our emergency management systems for future events," Vernon said. "We are fortunate that we did not bear the brunt of the storm, which has allowed us to make resources here available to the coastal communities that have been seriously impacted."