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First responders vigilant as storm pelts area

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Members of the Rocky Mount Fire Department's Swiftwater Emergency Response Team check their equipment Thursday.

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From Staff Reports

Thursday, October 11, 2018

City emergency crews remain on duty today as Tropical Storm Michael moves through the area bringing rain and gusting winds.

The Twin Counties continues to be under a Tropical Storm Warning, Tornado Watch and Flash Flood Watch throughout tonight.

City officials said the Tar River is not expected to flood, but area residents could expect localized flooding due to rain. The river will be monitored throughout the storm’s impact, as the forecast calls for Rocky Mount to receive as much as 2½ inches of rain through tonight.

The National Weather Service reports that a period of sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph is expected — and a few gusts of 40 to 50 mph are possible — especially through the mid-evening.

The Rocky Mount Fire Department activated its Swiftwater Emergency Response Team at noon today. Ten members of SERT will be assigned on two boat crews and the department’s high-clearance vehicle.

Public utilities will have two crews that will be on stand-by for possible power outages or downed trees. Public Works and Water Resources will be on hand to assist with clearing any downed trees and address areas with localized flooding.

Rocky Mount police urge drivers to be cautious regarding standing water on roads. If unsure, the department cautions drivers to remember the phrase, "Turn around, don't drown.”

Solid waste collection is planned to continue as regularly scheduled.

The Department of Engineering is ready to address any issues with traffic signals and will deploy barricades for street flooding if necessary.

Parks and Recreation canceled its after-school program and all athletics activities.

The city’s Emergency Operations Center has not been activated.

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