Governor Justice monitors hurricane’s path; pledges West Virginia aid to hard-hit areas

Gov. Jim Justice says West Virginia is warily watching the progress of Hurricane Ian and preparing to respond if the remnants hit the state.

“That hurricane down there is tough stuff. Tough, tough stuff,” Justice said during a briefing today, asking West Virginians to support those already in the hurricane’s path.

The governor added, “We all know what a one- to three-inch rain can cause,” Justice said. “Can you imagine places getting 24 inches of rain? It is tough. It’s really tough.”

More than 2.6 million people lost power as the hurricane slammed into southwest and central Florida, also causing collapsed buildings, flooding, downed powerlines and impassable roads. The storm’s path was taking it toward South Carolina by Friday.

“I have directed the National Guard to provide any kind of support that they could possibly do,” Justice said during today’s West Virginia briefing. “Absolutely, I’ve directed them to be able to help in any way they possibly can.”

The State of Virginia declared emergency in advance of the storm’s likely drenching of the state this weekend. The State of Maryland has continued to monitor the storm’s path, remaining on alert for possible flooding and high winds.

In West Virginia, the governor said officials will keep an eye on the developing situation.

The National Weather Service in Charleston is anticipating dry and cool weather in the region until later Friday when remnants from the hurricane arrive. Rain and gusty winds are expected through Monday. The weather service anticipates total accumulations of 1.5 to 3 inches of rain with the highest risk of flooding in areas of poor drainage.

“We’re all over this. We’re watching it like crazy,” Justice said. “Three to five inches of rain in this state with our mountains and the situation the way it is would be a real catastrophic problem. We all know this, and we’re on it.”

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