Friday, October 2, 2015

City of Durham Preparing for Hurricane Joaquin

City of Durham Preparing for Hurricane Joaquin
DURHAM, N.C. –The City of Durham is busy preparing to keep operations running smoothly as several weather systems converge on the Triangle including Hurricane Joaquin. Residents are encouraged to like the City’s Facebook page and follow the City’s Twitter feed to get up-to-date information about roads, programs, services and more.
The City’s Public Works Department is working to clear clogged stormwater drains and ensure all equipment and crews are prepped and ready to respond if needed. Residents are asked to help by proactively removing debris that may be clogging storm drains near their homes or businesses. The department will also be putting out signage if roadways flood to help warn motorists as well as coordinating with the local NCDOT maintenance office to ensure that State-maintained roads within the city limits are passable.
The City’s General Services Department Urban Forestry Division and Landscape Services Division will be on-call during this event to help remove downed trees on City streets and public rights-of-way. Today, crews are prepping all equipment, such as chainsaws, bucket trucks, and knuckle loaders. The City’s Public Works Department, Solid Waste Management Department and Neighborhood Improvement Services Department will support Urban Forestry’s efforts to help remove larger debris as needed.
To report downed trees on City-maintained streets, residents should contact the Durham Emergency Communications Center non-emergency line at (919) 560-4600 unless the downed tree presents an immediate, life-threatening hazard; then call 9-1-1.
Residents and property owners are responsible for downed tree removal on private property, driveways, apartment access roads, parking lots, and sidewalks. The clearing of private streets is also the responsibility of the homeowners within that subdivision. Residents are urged to not touch downed trees or branches that are tangled up with power lines. Power outages and any downed power lines should be reported directly to Duke Energy Carolinas at 1-800-POWERON or 1-800-769-3766 (English), or 1-800-4APAGON or 1-800-427-2466 (Español).
The Durham Police Department is urging motorists and pedestrians to avoid driving or walking through flooded streets since most storm-related deaths are caused by flooding. If residents see standing water, they are advised to not try to walk or drive through it.
For weather-related updates for any Durham Parks and Recreation (DPR) facilities, recreation centers or special events, call the DPR weather line at (919) 560-4636 and select option #8. Updates will also be available on DPR’s website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.
To plan for an emergency, Durham residents should:
·         Be sure emergency supply kits have enough bottled water and non-perishable food to sustain each family member for three to seven days. Include a weather radio, flashlight, extra batteries, toiletries, change of clothes, blankets or sleeping bag, rain gear and appropriate footwear. Also include copies of important documents, such as birth certificates and insurance policies.
·         Plan for pets by gathering supplies and putting them in an easily-accessible container.
·         Prepare homes by cleaning out gutters and clearing property of debris that could damage buildings in strong winds.
·         Determine if you are in a flood plain or flood-prone area and know evacuation routes. Listen to local officials and evacuate as instructed.
·         Stay tuned to local news for the latest advisories from the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center (NHC) as well as State and local emergency management officials.

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