The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a winter storm warning for 7:00 p.m. tonight, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, through 7:00 p.m. tomorrow night.
Read the storm warning details on the NWS website at https://www.weather.gov/gsp/winter. Rain, freezing rain, and ice have the potential to take down trees and power lines and cut off electricity.
Ready.gov has a lot of tips on emergency preparation and how to stay safe during a power outage. Click here to read the Ready page on power outages and click here for information on winter weather safety.
Although the City's Police, Fire, Public Utilities, and Public Works Department are ready to respond to emergencies 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, workers are taking a few extra precautions for the tomorrow.
Fire Department staff is topping off fuel tanks in all their trucks and making sure chain saws are sharpened and running smoothly. Firefighters are checking all protective equipment and getting tire chains ready for truck as well. The Chief is also making sure the City's firefighters are well rested to be able to respond during the night if needed. Public Works staff have prepped two sand spreaders and one salt spreader to respond to clear streets. Workers are putting chains on tires and have all of the department's power saw equipment ready to respond to downed trees. Police and Public Utilities are also checking their vehicles and equipment to make sure everything is in order to handle possible winter weather.
If a tree falls and blocks a road, that is an emergency. Residents should call 911 and report the situation. Residents should call 911 and report the situation. The 911 dispatcher will contact the appropriate agency to get the road cleared as soon as possible. The City will only clear trees from roads and possibly rights-of-way. The City of Lenoir does not trim branches or limbs around any utility lines. That’s the responsibility of the utility provider who owns the lines. Call Blue Ridge Energy at 828-754-9071 and call Duke Energy at 800-777-9898 to report trees and limbs near power lines.
The N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) recommends that residents do not drive during winter weather unless they have to. If residents must drive during winter weather, NCDOT provides some safety tips. Click here to visit NCDOT's Driving in Winter Weather page.
During any freezing temperatures, residents should take precautions to keep their water pipes from freezing. Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children. When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
Residents can stay informed about what's happening in the City via CodeRED and Notify Me.
CodeRED is a communication tool that lets staff notify residents and businesses by telephone, text message, email, and social media of time-sensitive information, emergencies, or urgent notifications. Click here for more information and how to sign up for CodeRED.
Notify Me alerts inform subscribers about information posted to the City website such as upcoming events, news, youth sports, and more. Residents have to sign up for Notify Me. Click here to visit the Notify Me page.
City of Lenoir Firefighter Josh Hollar inspects a chain saw at Station 1, Feb. 17, 2021, before loading it onto a fire truck.