Local News

State Operation Center Patiently Waits for Bonnie

Posted August 23, 1998

— The state's emergency operation center is like 911 for all the counties in North Carolina that are trying to prepare for the worst. If there's anything they need or anything they think they'll need, they'll be calling into the center. Crews have been working since about six in the morning and that is just the beginning.

The people at the operation center believe that North Carolina is going to be affected one way or another

The state emergency response teams hear about the hurricane watch and know that they'll be here for the next few days watching the latest weather reports and taking calls from county officials to make sure everything is in place before Bonnie hits land. Officials say this plan is one change that's been made since the wake-up call Hurricane Fran made to the state two years ago.

"We learned a lot from Fran and the other disasters we had in 1995 and 1996 As a matter of fact, those were some of the things that caused us to change our organization," said Tom Hegele, of theState Emergency Response Team.

They're now planning for the worst and hoping for the best. But the plans will change as Bonnie's path changes.

"And then when the watch turns into a warning, at that point, it's indicated. You know we're going to have a storm upon us within 24 hours, and we wait," Hegele explained.

Some of the people say they're growing a little weary waiting to see what Bonnie may decide to do. Everyone is simply standing by.

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