Preparations for Hurricane Ida

Aug. 31: Family Preparation Plan for Inclement Weather

BCS Community:

Berkeley County is in the path of the remnants of Hurricane Ida. I want to alert you to the possibility that we may need to dismiss school early on Wednesday or delay our start on Thursday due to potential areas of flooding and/or power outages. Please be sure to make plans for these possibilities and discuss your early dismissal or delayed start plans with your students.


NOTE: If a bus route needs adjusted due to a road closure, families will be notified for an alternate drop off/pick up location that is in an area not affected by water in the road way.


I have included a message below that was shared by the Berkeley County Homeland Security & Emergency Management Office. It is a thorough examination of weather conditions over the next couple of days. Please take a minute to review it.


Thank you for your cooperation as we work through an early season inclement weather event. I want to assure you that the health and safety of our students and staff is our priority and we will communicate any schedule changes with you as quickly as they are made known to us.


Stay safe. Be well.

PKM

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MESSAGE SHARED BY BERKELEY COUNTY HOMELAND SECURITY & EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

The remnants of Hurricane Ida have moved inland and up through the Tennessee valley region. Confidence is that they will begin to reach the Berkeley County area this evening in the form of rain showers. It is still expected to traverse our region over the next 24-48 hours and bring a chance for strong thunderstorms, high winds, and heavy rainfall. As part of our prep for this weather event, Berkeley OEM is in an “enhanced watch” mode and will fully open and staff the EOC as the track and situation warrants. At this point, the confidence from NWS is that Berkeley is in the currently projected path to receive heavy rainfall tomorrow into tomorrow night (Wednesday).


HURRICANE IDA Summary for Berkeley County, as of 1200 hours Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021:

Timing: Late Tuesday into early morning hours Thursday. Heaviest rainfall period expected to be throughout Wednesday. System is expected to cross eastern panhandle region later on Wednesday and should be moving past by Thursday morning. Some residuals may occur before or after primary system.


Primary Hazards expected: For our region, this system is expected to bring heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding, strong thunderstorms, high winds, slight chance of tornado activity in extreme eastern panhandle


Rainfall totals: At this time, total rainfall is expected to be in the 4”-6” range, with a “worst-case” scenario of up to 8+” (subject to change as system track is more defined or if system stalls in a particular area)


Wind Gust potential: Wind gusts in mid- to upper 30 MPH range anticipated, with gusts over 40 MPH on higher ridges


Flooding potential: Flash Flooding on minor streams most likely. Street/Urban flooding possible in areas with slow/backed up drainage systems. Minor flooding of main stem rivers is a potential for midweek with focus on Potomac, Cacapon, and Opequon. Overall Flash Flooding impact is currently listed as “Significant”. Overall River Flooding impact is currently listed as “Elevated”.


Overall Synopsis: We should expect and anticipate the probability of substantial to significant rainfall throughout Wednesday. Based on timing and track, this could lead to flooding concerns throughout the day Wednesday, with those increasing as the day goes along. Public should be aware of flooding potential and those that live In historically flood-prone areas should take precautions and be vigilant in watching water levels.


Public Preparedness Measures: Due to the potential impacts of this storm system, it is important for each home to prepare. As such, Berkeley County Office of Emergency management would recommend:


  • Be prepared for possible power outages. Have batteries, flashlights, and a portable radio available.
  • Be alert to rapidly rising waters. If you live in a historically flood-prone area, be prepared to relocate prior to flood waters making it impossible to do so.
  • DO NOT attempt to drive through flooded roadways. TURN AROUND, DON'T DROWN!
  • Be alert to the potential for downed limbs, trees, or utility lines.
  • National Weather Service will provide the surest updates. Visit www.weather.gov for current forecasts
  • Register all phones within your home for Alert Berkeley. This is a free notification system and will provide the fastest and most direct way to keep your family safe and informed. Text SWIFT911 to 99538 or visit www.alertberkeley.org to sign up

**As with any tropical storm system, impact is highly based on travel path of the system and the above-listed hazards and totals are dependent upon that**

This message has the most current information as of August 31, 2021 at 4:00 p.m.

Berkeley County Schools

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This newsletter is a publication of the Berkeley County Schools' Communications Office.