Gloucester operating under state of emergency

Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Apr 18, 2011 - 11:06 AM

Gloucester County Emergency Management Coordinator Emily Ashley reported that a state and local Declaration of Emergency is in effect said Gloucester County has emergency personnel making damage assessments in the affected areas.

County spokesperson Christi Lewis reported on Sunday that there are four teams working throughout the county to provide initial reports to the state.

Initial search and rescue has been completed, Lewis said, and there are three confirmed deaths associated with the tornado.

Riverside Walter Reed Hospital is fully functional at this time, Lewis said. It has treated 23 individuals with tornado related injuries.

Until assessments have been made and the needs of the residents of the area are known, there has not been a direct request for community volunteer assistance, Lewis said.

State Police Sgt. Kevin Barrack reported the areas of Coke, Zanoni and Ware Neck have road closings. As of Sunday afternoon, 15 additional support troopers had been brought into the area, Barrack said. 

The American Red Cross will be located at Bellamy United Methodist Church at 4870 Chestnut Fork Road at 1 p.m. for those affected by the tornado. There will be bottled water and food at Bellamy for residents in need, Lewis said.

Residents are advised to contact their local gas or propane distributor for issues or concerns with their gas or propane tanks if there is damage from the tornado, Lewis added and local emergency services officials are closely monitoring the damages and downed power lines.

Finally, Lewis said an emergency helpline has been activated.  She urged residents to not call 911 for tornado damage information as these lines are needed for actual emergencies. Residents are asked to call 693-3000 for non-life threatening issues.