Randolph County declares state of emergency as effects of Hurricane Ian begin

ASHEBORO — As wind and rain increased throughout the Triad region due to Hurricane Ian, Randolph County officials have declared a local state of emergency effective Friday at 1 pm. The State of Emergency is declared for all unincorporated areas of the County. The moves comes two days after Gov. Roy Cooper (D-N.C.) declared a state-level emergency in advance of the hurricane. Cooper’s office said the state of emergency was needed so farmers and those preparing for the storm could quickly get ready for the heavy rain that is likely to fall.

The county declaration serves as a precautionary measure in the event that forecasted amounts cause significant impacts on the Randolph County area, according to a release from the county.

Randolph Electric crews on Friday were repairing broken power poles and removing trees fallen on lines. As of 4pm Friday, crews had restored power to over 600 homes with approximately 200 homes without power. REMC said it anticipated more scattered outages.

Randolph County Schools, Asheboro City Schools and Uwharrie Charter were all closed on Friday.

“We always want to make sure that we are sensitive to the safety of Randolph County citizens. Due to the uncertain nature of these types of weather events, it is critical that Randolph County is prepared for any challenges that may occur as a result of the impacts of Hurricane Ian,” said County Commissioners Chairman Darrell Frye in a release. “We encourage our citizens to exercise caution if they have to be out, drive carefully, and take no risks. We hope to be back to normal activity soon.”

Counties are authorized to declare a state of emergency when circumstances within widespread damage or safety concerns are threatened or occur. Governmental units commonly issue declarations early to allow communities to prepare for impending weather.

The latest forecast updates for Randolph County include sustained winds at 30-35 mph, with maximum wind gusts around 50 mph. The total rainfall forecast is expected to approach 4 inches, with winds peaking this afternoon and early evening. Rain is expected to be off and on through Monday.

By Randolph Record