Katie Thisdell reports on news from Stafford County. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 540/735-1975.
Local state of emergency declared
A local state of emergency has been declared for Stafford.
County Administrator Anthony Romanello declared that due to the continuing snowstorm and the anticipation of downed trees and more power outages. This means that Stafford can more quickly implement emergency response action, and be eligible for federal assistance for the aftermath.
This morning, Gov. Bob McDonnell declared a state of emergency for the state.
Here is more information from county officials:
- Citizens can dial 311 or (540) 658-HELP (4357) for non-emergency questions. If anyone has a life-threatening emergency, they need to call 911 immediately.
- Generator Safety - If residents lose power and are using generators, they should be extremely cautious and not use the generator inside their home or garage because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. They should also use flashlights rather than candles because of the risk of fires.
- Downed Power Lines - Stay away from downed power lines. Call 911 to report downed power lines. Do not touch them.
- Power Outages - If you lose power, do not open freezers and refrigerators unless necessary to preserve the cold air.
- Disaster Supplies Kit - Assemble a disaster supplies kit with the following items: water, non-perishable food, can opener, flashlight and extra batteries, first aid kit, whistle to signal for help, most towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation, wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, local maps, cell phone with chargers. Also pack prescription medication.
- Medication and/or Special Needs - Individuals with prescription medication and/or special needs should make provisions for medications that require refrigeration in case they lose power. They should also keep specialized items ready including wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, food for service animals and any other items they might need.
- Fallen Trees – Call VDOT at 1-800-367-ROAD (1-800-367-7623).
Important Phone Numbers/Websites
For General County Information: Call 311. Individuals outside of Stafford can call (540) 658-5311 or 4311. Information is also available on the County’s website atwww.staffordcountyva.gov, Facebook at Stafford County Government, or Twitter at staffordvagov.
Dominion Virginia Power: 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) to report outages or downed lines. Customers can also report an outage through the company’s mobile website at www.dom.com by typing in the phone number or account number on record with the company and the last four digits of their Social Security Number, PIN or federal tax ID number.
Columbia Gas: 1-800-544-5606 to report a strong gas odor. Also call 911 immediately. Leave the building immediately.
VDOT: Call 511 or visit www.511virginia.org or download the mobile app at the 511 website.