Our View: Don’t take storm threat lightly


Rocky Mount Telegram

Sunday, September 10, 2017

State and local officials certainly have been offering sage advice in urging people to remain vigilant to the potential threat posed by Hurricane Irma.

While tracking models indicate that the giant storm is projected to likely veer to the west of North Carolina, avoiding a direct hit on the state, the outer bands of the Texas-sized storm will still pummel much of the state with heavy rains and gusting winds.

Or the models could turn out to be wrong, or simply change. While the science of tracking technology and storm path projections is often incredibly accurate, Mother Nature isn’t always that predictable. There remains an outside chance that Irma could move along a more easterly track.

Even if it doesn’t, though, the effects of the storm are likely to be potent enough to produce flash-flooding, downed trees and isolated power outages throughout the state, mudslides in the western mountains and strong rip currents along the coast. Be aware of these potential dangers in the next few days.

Keep an eye on the weather forecasts, especially throughout the day today and tomorrow. Heed local emergency management officials’ advice and make sure your family has an emergency plan and go over it with them. 

And don’t forget to put together an emergency supplies kit, including such items as plenty of water and food, medications, battery-powered radio, blankets or sleeping bags, first-aid kit and other necessities. 

Storm season isn’t over yet, and  there could be another powerful hurricane or tropical storm that barrels  its way across  our area before it is.

Irma, like Harvey before it in Texas, is leaving a trail of destruction in its wake — and North Carolina has seen more than its share of similar disasters. From Hazel to Floyd to Matthew, longtime residents of the Twin Counties know firsthand the devastation these storms can inflict and understand the importance of being prepared and acting with caution.

Climatologists have long been predicting more active storm seasons due to climate change, and we have seen those forecasts come true. So pay attention and make sure you and your family are prepared.