Gov. Jim Justice issued a "State of Preparedness" for all 55 counties in West Virginia on Sunday ahead of the remnants of Hurricane Ida following the latest forecasts from the National Weather Service.
Ida is forecast to hit the Gulf Coast later today as a category-four storm, with remnants predicted to reach the Mountain State by Tuesday evening and then tracking northeast through Thursday.
“Due to the magnitude of Hurricane Ida and the rainfall amounts predicted for West Virginia, I have ordered our state agencies to prepare to respond immediately if necessary,” Justice said.
“We’re ready to provide all possible resources should flooding or other weather incidents occur.”
Coordinating agencies are now on standby to report to the State Emergency Operations Center should the need arise. For the duration of this event, the NWS will hold daily briefings with state leaders and emergency management personnel.
The operations center is currently at an “Enhanced Watch” level in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and is ready for full activation should it be ordered.
Performing around-the-clock monitoring of weather and water levels in rivers and streams, the West Virginia Emergency Management Division's Watch Center will notify leaders if local emergency management agencies request assistance.
“With the Governor's 'State of Preparedness,' our partner agencies and county emergency managers are on standby to respond,” Greg Fuller, deputy director of the division, said.
“EMD remains at the ready to provide all possible resources to protect the lives and property of our citizens. In addition to our Enhanced Watch due to COVID-19, we continue our mission by coordinating the state’s response to severe weather or any other threat.”
All West Virginians should remain attentive to weather conditions through local media reports and be sure to follow any instructions issued by emergency officials.