VDEM headquarters in full force to combat Hermine

VDEM headquarters in full force to combat Hermine

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Virginia's Emergency Operations Center in Richmond is operating at full force since Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency Friday.

Thousands of emergency officials and first responders, even the governor, are working Labor Day weekend to make sure Virginia is as protected as possible from Hermine. The storm continues to make its way up the Eastern seaboard, leaving damage and flooding in its path.

Virginia Department of Emergency Management officials are in constant contact with the National Hurricane Center, FEMA, and the National Weather Service. Coordinators keep in close contact with crews on the ground, monitoring thousands of first responders across the state.

More than 270 National Guard soldiers are currently deployed. State police are already working overtime for the holiday, and special operations teams are in place, according to Dr. Jeff Stern, the state coordinator of emergency management.

"About 110 high water vehicles humvees and trucks are deployed strategically to the Eastern Shore," Dr. Stern noted.

Dr. Stern says crews are ready to combat flooding, hazards and storm damage, in the hardest hit spots. Special swift water units are staged along the coast. There are even two on standby in Richmond.

"Our big concern is the water and the rain that is going to come in with the wind. It's going to go all the way up the James and York Rivers, the Chesapeake Bay," said McAuliffe.

Gov. McAuliffe stopped by the headquarters Saturday morning to get briefed on operations, and thank emergency personnel and responders for their hard work, especially during Labor Day weekend. The governor, like many, also skipping holiday plans.

"I was going to go to Virginia Beach with my family to see Bruce Springsteen tonight," said McAuliffe.

The Emergency Operations Center is set to stay open around the clock through Monday. At that time, officials say they'll reassess.

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