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BREAKING Hurricane Joaquin: Emergency Declared – Begin Prep NOW – Brace for Impact

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Late last night Hurricane Joaquin was upgraded to a major hurricane, with sustained winds at 125 mph and gusting up to 155 mph, this is now classified as a Category 4 storm. Movement is slow at this time, bringing uncertainty to the forecast track once this storm kicks it into gear again. The storm is expected to intensify in the next 12 to 24 hours as it circulates over warmer water and enters an environment with decreasing vertical wind shear.

State of Emergency Declared For:
South Carolina

Columbia, SC- In South Carolina, several variations of flood hazards occur due to the different effects of severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, seasonal rains and other weather-related conditions. The State’s low-lying topography, combined with its humid subtropical climate, makes it highly vulnerable to inland or riverine flooding. Riverine flooding occurs when the flow of rainwater runoff is greater than the carrying capacities of the natural drainage systems. The largest riverine flood in South Carolina, based on the area affected, was the 1903 flood. Relentless rains associated with warm moist air and a low-pressure system caused this flood. The textile communities of Clifton and Pacolet were hardest hit. The Pacolet River rose as much as 40 feet in an hour, resulting in the deaths of sixty-five people.

In comparison to riverine flooding, coastal flooding is usually the result of a severe weather system such as a tropical storm or hurricane, which contains an element of high winds. The damaging effects of coastal floods are caused by a combination of storm surge, wind, rain, erosion and battering by debris. In 1999, three tropical systems resulted in over 24 inches of rain in Horry County. The Waccamaw River and tributaries caused significant flooding throughout northeastern South Carolina.

Maraland

BALTIMORE, MA (WeatherNation Affiliate WBFF)- Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency in Maryland on Thursday, out of an abundance of caution in anticipation of Hurricane Joaquin. “While the path of Hurricane Joaquin remains uncertain, taking proactive measures is the first step in preparing for extreme weather and will ensure that resources are available in the areas with the greatest need,” said Governor Hogan. “At this time we are strongly encouraging Marylanders to use common sense in the days ahead and look after family members and neighbors who might need assistance. Now is the time to start preparing for possible flooding or any other hazards.”

A flash flood watch will be in effect for portions of Maryland starting Friday morning and continuing through Saturday evening. The National Weather Service (NWS) says the watch includes the following counties of Maryland: Anne Arundel, Calvert, Central and Southeast Howard, Central and Southeast Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.

“Rain will increase in intensity across the area Friday into Saturday,” NWS said Thursday. “Widespread rain totals of two to four inches are expected with locally higher amounts. Heavy rain could fall over a short period of time on saturated soils which could lead to flash flooding.”

The American Red Cross in Northwest Baltimore activated their Emergency Operations Center Thursday morning.

The Hogan administration has asked State agencies, including the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), to make preparations for the incoming storms.

New Jersey

Trenton, NJ – Governor Chris Christie today declared a state of emergency throughout the state as a result of severe weather conditions expected in the coming days. The National Weather Service is forecasting a dangerous nor’easter weather pattern impacting New Jersey beginning on October 1, 2015, including high winds, very heavy rain, inland river flooding, as well as major coastal flooding with heavy surf and beach erosion. The National Hurricane Center currently has forecasted the track for the impending weather event Joaquin, now a major hurricane, showing it moving northward off the mid-Atlantic coast late on or about October 4, 2015, which may cause significant flooding, dangerous storm surges between eight and ten feet, substantial wind damage, and stream and river flooding threatening homes and other structures, and endangering lives in the State These severe weather conditions may cause power outages, impede transportation and the flow of traffic in New Jersey, and thereby make it difficult or impossible for citizens to obtain the necessities of life, as well as essential services such as police, fire, and first aid.

“There are two concerns for New Jersey coming out of the next four days of weather. The immediate threat is for severe flooding on Friday and Saturday, the second is tracking the path of Hurricane Joaquin as those forecasts become clearer over the next 24 to 72 hours. Whether or not Joaquin is a direct issue for New Jersey by Monday, we know that there is definitely going to be moderate and likely to be major flooding events in South Jersey on Friday and Saturday, with 5-6 inches of rainfall expected to come over those two days,” said Governor Christie. “At particular risk are communities along the Delaware Bay in Salem and Cumberland counties and the coastal communities in Atlantic and Cape May counties. So as a result I’ve signed an executive order declaring a State Of Emergency in New Jersey as of this morning, giving our emergency management folks the tools they’re going to need to ensure a speedy and an orderly response.”

The declaration activates elements of the State Emergency Operations Plan, broadening powers of the New Jersey State Police including traffic control, limiting access and egress from impacted areas.

As provided by the declaration, the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management will be authorized to mobilize and deploy resources beginning immediately to respond to the storm conditions, including resources of the New Jersey State Police, New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and New Jersey Department of Transportation, in coordination with county and municipal emergency management officials in impacted areas throughout the state.

North Carolina

Raleigh, NC – Governor Pat McCrory has declared a State of Emergency in all 100 counties in preparation for severe weather that is predicated to cause severe flooding throughout the state. At a news conference at the North Carolina Emergency Operations Center, the governor said that weather systems, independent of Hurricane Joaquin, are likely to dump flooding rains on the state. Hurricane Joaquin will increase rainfall totals should it make landfall in North Carolina. Presently, the hurricane is predicted to brush the Outer Banks.

“We’re hoping for the best, but hope is not preparation nor is it a plan,” Governor McCrory said. “I’ve ordered all state agencies to begin preparation for the severe weather, particularly flooding, that is going hit just about every corner of the state during the next few days.”

The governor signed an executive order authorizing the state of emergency which will waive hour and weight restrictions for truck drivers responding to the storm. The waivers particularly help farmers and electric utility crews working to restore power.

The governor noted that fallen trees could be a particular danger given much of ground in the state is saturated after rains that have fallen throughout the state during the past week. The governor said the state is contacting federal emergency partners and will activate Emergency Operations Center Friday morning.

Public Safety Secretary Frank L. Perry said officials are preparing for widespread flooding in areas across the state.

“Regardless of the impacts of Hurricane Joaquin, North Carolina has the potential for life-threatening flooding,” cautioned Perry. “We want everyone to remember to ‘Turn around, don’t drown.’”

Search and rescue teams as well as National Guard soldiers, Highway Patrol troopers and Department of Transportation crews are preparing for the weather.

“NCDOT crews are preparing for this storm and will remain on standby as we continue to monitor its track,” Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson said. “We are ready to shift resources as necessary to address any impacts, and we urge travelers throughout the state to use extreme caution and avoid driving on flooded roadways.”

The governor asked citizens to update and replenish emergency kits with bottled water, non-perishable food, a weather radio, copies of important documents, flashlights, batteries and any supplies and medications for pets.

Virginia

RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency throughout the Commonwealth today to empower public safety officials to respond to Tuesday’s flooding events in communities across Virginia and to prepare for more extreme weather throughout the rest of the week.

The Executive Order, which operates retroactively to Tuesday, September 29th, allows Virginia state and local emergency responders to begin to prepare for the effects of the 8-10” of rain forecast across the Commonwealth Thursday and Friday, as well as the potential that Hurricane Joaquin will impact Virginia early next week.

“I cannot stress enough the imperative for Virginians to focus on the rainstorms that are headed our way tomorrow and Friday, well before Hurricane Joaquin could potentially impact Virginia,” said Governor McAuliffe. “The forecast of up to 10 inches of rain in areas across Virginia could result in floods, power outages and a serious threat to life and property. As we continue to track the path of Hurricane Joaquin, I have instructed the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security to make every preparation for a major event Thursday and Friday.”

More:BREAKING– Joaquin Upgraded to Category 4
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