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Area escapes Bonnie's wrath, awaits Charley

August 14, 2004|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

One down, one to go.

Tropical Storm Bonnie moved away from the Tri-State area Friday as Hurricane Charley continued its march northward, promising to bring rain - possibly heavy at times - to the Tri-State area by midday today.

"Areas east of the Blue Ridge Mountains could see between 2 to 4 inches of rain," National Weather Service forecaster John Darnley said late Friday.

As for Washington County and other parts of the Tri-State area, the totals could stay around 1 to 2 inches, Darnley said. He expected the rain to start falling after midnight Friday and pick up today.

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A flood watch that was enacted for Bonnie remained in effect for the region Friday because of the impending second storm, forecasters said.

Area police and emergency personnel are on alert and have advised motorists to exercise care if driving in heavy rain or through high water on roads.

"We have put all our volunteers on alert," said Cindy Blackstock Kline, emergency services director for the Washington County Chapter of the American Red Cross.

As part of that alert, some of those volunteers might find themselves heading to Florida in the chapter's newly acquired emergency response vehicle in case services are needed there, Kline said.

An Allegheny Power spokesman said Friday that repair and support personnel are ready to respond to outages, stocking inventories of storm supplies and coordinating response with other utility companies if necessary.

Customers are advised to have spare batteries for flashlights, clocks and radios; have a fresh water supply available, especially if well water is the source; and have a supply of canned and nonrefrigerated foods on hand.

Customers may call 1-800-255-3443 to report power outages.

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