Alex Scruggs | News Editor
Gov. Terry McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency for Virginia as of earlier today due to the potential upcoming effects of Hurricane Irma.
According to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, “The order is designed to help Virginia mitigate any damage caused by the storm and to streamline the process that the Commonwealth uses to provide assistance to other states vulnerable to Irma.”
VDEM notes that the state of emergency will allow Virginia access to resources such as the National Guard. Highlighting the severity of the situation, VDEM’s website states “The entire Commonwealth must prepare for the possible flooding, high winds and potential storm surge that could come along with a storm of this magnitude.”
As of yesterday evening, the National Hurricane Center has predicted that Irma, which is currently a Category 4 heading northwest from the Caribbean, will move up through Florida and then west toward Kentucky, where it will likely decrease in severity to a tropical depression. Although the prediction is still subject to change, even on its current track Irma’s effects can span hundreds of miles. The National Weather Service website shows rain and wind as a likely forecast for this upcoming Tuesday.
“There is one lesson we can take from the tragic events that occurred in Texas,” said Gov. McAuliffe today, “it is that we must redouble our preparation efforts. The order I issued today is intended to both protect our commonwealth and to make sure we have every option at our disposal to help our neighboring states when Irma makes landfall.”