Thursday, 13 September 2018 13:26

NWS: Chance for damaging winds remains elevated in Roanoke Valley

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Bucket trucks line up at Roanoke Rapids Theatre staging area. Bucket trucks line up at Roanoke Rapids Theatre staging area. Dominion Energy

The most likely potential for the Roanoke River to crest at Roanoke Rapids or Scotland Neck is below minor, the National Weather Service reported in its latest morning briefing.

The most likely potential for Fishing Creek to crest is from minor to moderate, meteorologists from the NWS Raleigh office reported.

The NWS said very slow movement of Hurricane Florence with a large wind field will result in a 24- to 36-hour duration of strong damaging winds across portions of Eastern and Central North Carolina.

The chance for significant power outages across Central North Carolina remains significant, the NWS said.

Flash-flooding is expected in Eastern and Central North Carolina today and through Saturday.

The potential for damaging winds remains strongest now in the Sandhills and Coastal Plains. The chance for damaging winds remains elevated in the Roanoke Valley.

There remains the risk of 6 to 8 inches of rain in the Roanoke Rapids area with moderate to minimal threat to life and property.

Updated closings

Both Roanoke Rapids Graded and Weldon City Schools will remain closed Friday.

Staging area

Dominion Energy reported the Roanoke Rapids Theatre is being used as the staging area for out-of-state line crews who have arrived to assist with electric system restoration in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

A decision could be made later today about where these crews will be working.

As of late Wednesday afternoon, 208 linemen and approximately 200 bucket trucks had arrived at the staging area with a few more expected to arrive this morning.

The majority of the crews at this staging area are from independent utility contractors, MDR Construction Inc. of Columbia, Mississippi, and Heart Utilities of Jax Inc., of Jacksonville, Florida.

NC Rural Center report

“While we are all hoping for the best, Thread Capital and the Rural Center are planning for the worst,” it said in an email. “We are ready to deliver services to support affected North Carolina businesses and farms. Once Florence passes, and you are able to determine any damage that results, please do not hesitate to let us know how we can help business owners in your community that have been impacted by the storm. Currently, we stand ready to deliver Rapid Recovery Loans to businesses and farms in the immediate aftermath of the storm.”

Thread Capital will be accepting loan applications for six-month interest-free loans beginning next week.

Loan amounts will be up to $50,000 based on the size of the business, and are intended to bridge the timing gap until insurance and SBA loan funds are received. Additional information on this loan option is available here.

Additional resources are also provided:

  •         SBTDC for business counseling, access to capital, and long-term recovery resources.
  •         NC Emergency Management for recovery resources and emergency preparedness.  
  •         BLNC for a directory of business resources through their toll-free number 800-228-8443.
  •         Disaster Unemployment Assistance for unemployment insurance benefits due to a natural disaster.
  •         NC Department of Agriculture for resources to assist farmers.
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