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Culpeper officials prepare for Hurricane Sandy

Culpeper County Emergency Services officials are making plans to deal with Hurricane Sandy in wake of the State of Emergency issued by Gov. Robert McDonnell earlier today.

As the state prepares and braces for possible storm damage, Culpeper officials are making plans as well. The storm is expected to arrive Sunday evening and continue for several days.

Residents are asked to closely monitor radio and television broadcasts as the storm approaches and weather officials have a better idea of the track of the storm and its potential damage.

“Culpeper residents should prepare for high winds, heavy rain and downed trees,” said Culpeper County Emergency Services Director Tom Williams. “Downed trees usually cause power outages.”

Williams suggested that residents stock up on bottled water and non-perishable food items in case a power failure causes food in refrigerators or freezers to spoil.

Here are some other helpful ideas to get you through the storm:

· Make sure your cell phone is fully charged

· Have extra batteries on hand for flashlights and portable radios

· Clean gutters of leaves and debris so that rainwater will flow easily

· Sign up for Code Red reverse 911 emergency notifications at the county’s website of www.culpepercounty.gov

· Create a communications plan with friends and family, including text messaging, which can sometimes get around cell phone voice outages or disruptions

· Do not drive through flooded areas or fast-moving water

· If you have a generator be sure to test it and have fresh gasoline on hand

County emergency services officials, along with Culpeper Human Services and the Red Cross, will open shelters for residents, if the situation warrants.

The Emergency Operations Center has been readied in case county and town officials need to open it to manage operations during the storm and its aftermath.

Culpeper County Sheriff’s deputies and Culpeper police officers stand ready to respond during the storm and in its aftermath.

VDOT will work with county officials to assist with opening roads temporarily blocked by downed trees and with barricades should flooding close roads.

The town’s Light and Power Department has crews on standby to respond to outages to town customers. Crews also trimmed some trees in areas susceptible to tree limbs falling on power lines.

Rappahannock Electric and Dominion Virginia Power have reviewed and discussed their response plans.

The Town Public Works Department has personnel ready to respond and all equipment available should trees block town streets or flooding closes roads.

The Culpeper County Building Official is also ready to respond and document any damage attributable to the storm

“We will notify the public of changing conditions in Culpeper as soon as possible,” said Williams. “But we ask that citizens prepare for this storm, which could be a significant weather event.”



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