By CHARLES OWENS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency Friday in anticipation of a winter storm that will impact Virginia this weekend, and West Virginia Governor Jim Justice issued a state of preparedness for all 55 counties in the Mountain State.
Northam, in one of his last actions as governor, said the National Weather Service is warning of the potential for significant snow, sleet, and ice late Saturday night through Monday, impacting a majority of the state.
Northam said some areas in Southwest Virginia are predicted to get up to a foot of snow.
“We expect this storm to have a significant impact in many parts of Virginia,” Northam said. “Declaring a state of emergency now allows our emergency responders to prepare, and to move supplies and equipment where they expect to need them the most. This also gives Governor-elect Youngkin the ability to respond to any storm needs swiftly. I urge Virginians to take this storm seriously and make preparations now.”
In West Virginia, Justice said the declaration directs the State Emergency Operations Center and its partner agencies to prepare to respond to the impending winter storm, posturing personnel and resources to respond quickly should an emergency develop.
The governor’s office said coordinating agencies are on standby to report to the State Emergency Operations Center at the West Virginia Emergency Management Division should the need arise. To assist emergency management officials tracking the storm’s path, the National Weather Service will hold daily briefings for state agencies and local partners, and EMD liaisons will provide updates from each county.