Roanoke County Public Safety Officials have been meeting regularly and preparing for what weather forecasters say will likely be a significant snowfall.
Chief Rick Burch and emergency managers are meeting regularly to discuss the most up-to-date reporting from the National Weather Service, Blacksburg Office. County officials are preparing for what could be a considerable snow accumulation and an increase in calls for emergency assistance. The plan involves placing extra staff in the county’s Emergency Communications Center (ECC or 911 Dispatch Center) to handle a possible surge in calls. Supplemental paramedic/firefighters will be available in several strategic stations to handle an increase in emergency calls. All fire/rescue personnel are being asked to double check their equipment specific to winter storms including chains for the tires of trucks, chainsaws for cutting down trees blocking roadways to an emergency incident, and other related equipment. Other personnel are on stand-by to work in the Emergency Operations Center, should the need occur.
Often times during snow storms, the County’s 911 Dispatch Center is inundated with calls that are not considered to be an emergency. Public Safety Officials are reminding citizens to please only call 911 if you are having or reporting an emergency. For your convenience, other important numbers are posted below.
• Power Outages—call Appalachian Power (AEP) 1-800-956-4237—to report or inquire about power outages or go to www.appalachianpower.com
• Broken Water Main in Roanoke County—call the Western Virginia Water Authority at 540-853-5700 or go to www.westernvawater.org
• Access Latest Road Conditions—call the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) at 511 or go to www.511Virginia.org
See News Release Page for PDF version with Winter Safety Preparedness