Vinton issues local declaration of emergency
Vinton–On June 30, Governor Bob McDonnell declared a state of emergency in Virginia following severe weather that struck the state on Friday night. This action allows state resources to be made available to local governments and authorizes state agencies to assist the affected areas. This emergency declaration ensures a fully coordinated state response to support local response and recovery efforts. A declaration also expedites timely deployment of personnel, equipment and supplies to impacted areas.
“This is not a one day situation; it is a multi-day challenge,” said McDonnell. “Friday’s thunderstorms caused the broadest non-hurricane related power outage in Virginia history.”
On July 1, the Town of Vinton issued a local declaration of emergency due to damage from the storm, power outages, and the loss of water to the Falling Creek subdivision, as well as the Chestnut Mountain neighborhood, when the Mountain View Pump Station became non-operational after the power failure.
Town Manager Chris Lawrence received approval from the Virginia Emergency Operations Center for funding for a generator to restore power to the pump station. Over 1400 residents of the Falling Creek subdivision and nearby Chestnut Mountain have no water at this time.
The generator is scheduled to arrive on July 1, and to be put into operation immediately. The process of refilling the two above-ground water storage tanks involved, which hold 60,000 and 110,000 gallons respectively, takes about 12 hours to complete.
On recommendation from the Virginia Department of Health, Lawrence plans to issue a “boil notice” for the affected areas, advising those who are out of water at the present time to boil their water until otherwise notified, even after service resumes, as a precautionary measure. Ice from ice-makers should be discarded and water filters should be changed.
The Town will conduct bacterial testing as the water system comes back into operation, also as a precaution.
The Town of Vinton has set up a water supply station, manned by the Town staff, Town Council members, Public Works employees, and First Aid Crew members at the Vinton War Memorial and Vinton Senior Center at 824 Washington Avenue. Bulk potable water is available, as well as bottled water. Residents need to bring containers for the bulk water. The water service is available until 9:00 p.m. on July 1 and from 10:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. on July 2.
A cooling station, also manned by Town employees, has also been set up at the Vinton Senior Center until 9 p.m. on July 1.
Area residents are reporting hour-long waits in fast food restaurants throughout the Valley, motels booked up within a 50-mile radius, and rapidly dwindling supplies of bottled water in local stores.
American Electric Power estimates that some areas of Roanoke and Bedford Counties will not regain power until July 7.