-Press Release, County of Granville
Granville County emergency responders have been assisting storm-ravaged North Carolina areas as recovery efforts are underway.
Deployed to Jones County was Granville County Emergency Services Director Doug Logan, who is part of the N.C Emergency Management Central Branch Overhead Incident Management Team. This task force and public adjusters in Florida helped coordinate the disaster response in Jones County, based in the Trenton area, where there was record flooding along the Trent River. Many residents of the county had to be rescued by fire, EMS and Sheriff’s Office personnel, Logan reported, and emergency staff members had been on duty around the clock since before the storm even made landfall, making preparations and responding to calls for assistance.
The Central Branch Team was air-lifted into the area by helicopter to find the majority of Jones County cut off from surrounding areas by flood waters, without electricity or telephone service. The county water system had completely failed and the only food sources for the citizens were what little stocks they had left in pantries.
“We had assets from all over North Carolina – as well as New York, California, Vermont, Arizona – all there to assist through the National Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC),” Logan noted. “Additional resources arrived daily to assist in the response and relief efforts, while military air assets dropped food and water supplies to be distributed to isolated communities.”
As of Wednesday, September 19, the rivers were starting to recede and approximately 60 percent of the county remained without power as water pressure made a slow and steady return. Local drinking water sources will likely remain unsafe for several weeks, due to flooded wells and contaminated water treatment plants.
“We are anticipating a need to provide intermediate and long-term sheltering, as well as disaster housing for residents who will return to their homes as the water continues to go away,” Logan reported on Wednesday. “The team is diligently trying to merge the operation into recovery instead of response.”
Logan returned home last Thursday, after being deployed for five days.
Also instrumental in the disaster relief efforts were Donnie Boyd, Fire Marshal for Granville County Emergency Services, who played an integral role in moving equipment to impacted areas where there was the greatest need – as well as Robin Edwards and Reba Duke, who were activated through the Regional Coordination Center (RCC) in Central North Carolina. Fire Inspector Joe Seagroves aided in moving staging equipment for RCC-Central, which was set up in Butner.
Meanwhile, Trent Brummitt, Manager of the County’s 911 Emergency Call Center, along with Shift Supervisor Matt Faucette, traveled to Morehead City to provide assistance to telecommunicators there through a request more specific than a normal Telecommunicator Emergency Response Task Force (TERT) request.
On Sunday, September 16, a call had been made for assistance from areas using the same Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system as Carteret County. With no time to train responders from out of the area on how to use their system, the goal was to have those familiar with their emergency procedures in place to offer relief. Brummitt and Faucette were quick to respond, leaving just a few hours after the request was made. Ice, coolers, water, snacks and extra cots were packed to take along with them.
According to Brummitt, first responders in that area had been working rotating 12-hour shifts, and most had not been home since before the storm.
“They were grateful we came to help,” Brummitt said, adding that the Morehead Police Department, where they were stationed, was the only building with power when they arrived.
After checking in, Brummitt and Faucette quickly went to work, manning Morehead City’s 911 system and taking emergency calls in twelve-hour shifts. By Tuesday, Brummitt said, power had been restored as shifts continued around the clock over a two-day period. The two arrived back to Granville County late Tuesday night.
The Morehead City area was pounded with more than 15 inches of rain as a result of Hurricane Florence, with severe flooding reported. Providing additional assistance in relief efforts there were telecommunicators from Richmond, Chatham and Johnson Counties, as well from the National Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard.
“We learned a lot that will help us if we ever have a situation like that here,” Brummitt said. “Seeing the effects of Hurricane Florence first handmade us realize that Granville County was very fortunate.”
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Granville County Government enhances the quality of life for the citizens of the County by providing an array of services through a responsive, effective, and efficient local government. Learn more at www.granvillecounty.org. Follow Granville County Government on Facebook @GranvilleCountyGov.