Preparations Underway for Heavy Rains

By: Michael Gorsegner
By: Michael Gorsegner

August 30, 2006

Right now, Ernesto is predicted to begin to impact our weather as early as tomorrow night. With the possibility of up to ten inches of rain in the next 48 hours, area agencies are gearing up for what may lie ahead.

Torrents of rain are expected to hit our area as Ernesto makes its way up the Eastern seaboard. In preparation of the storm, emergency officials are keeping an attentive eye.

"We're in the watchful waiting stance right now, keeping an eye on what may happen. But certainly making sure that our emergency workers are prepared," said Albemarle County Spokesperson Lee Caitlin.

Ernesto dropped drenching rains on Florida and is expected to move out to sea and gain strength before hitting the Carolinas. The storm is then expected to track into the Commonwealth, bringing with it the potential for five to ten inches of rain and possibly some street closures.

"We have certain places in the City that always flood out anyway when we get a lot of rain. We'll have extra barricades and cones out. We work with City Yard real closely to make sure that we can shut down streets when necessary," said Charlottesville Police Lt. Gary Pleasants.

The area is already feeling the affects of some soaking rains. Charlottesville Fire responded to a tree on top of a house in the 1200 block of Timberbranch Court around 5 p.m. No one was injured but the tree did puncture the roof. Emergency officials say they will be ready for what lies ahead.

"As we get a better idea of exactly when the worst of it might be and what to expect, we will begin deploying people out in places where they can be of most service to the community," said Caitlin.

Emergency officials from Charlottesville, Albemarle County and the University of Virginia are expected to meet at some point Thursday to map a plan for the storm. They say the goal is to make sure everyone is on the same page.

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