Rowan County hospital that recently flooded takes precautions before storm

- Rowan County officials have declared a state of emergency as Hurricane Florence barrels toward the North Carolina coast. A Salisbury hospital that flooded just weeks ago could be hit again. 

It was a little over a month ago that heavy rain forced Novant Health Rowan Medical Center in Salisbury to temporarily stop all surgeries. This time around, officials aren't taking any chances. 

“We cannot go through that again,” said Gary Blabon with Novant Health. 

Blabon says Wednesday morning a berm will be placed around the hospital. In the meantime, dozens of sand bags are being readied along with wood, to construct makeshift outdoor walls, protecting patients from any potential flood waters.

“We're taking measures to hopefully prevent any flooding like we had before,” Blabon said. “We will be open for service no matter what.” 

A few miles away, Chief Chris Soliz with Emergency Services, is coordinating with state and local leaders.

The county has identified a list of shelter locations if needed. No decisions have been made on if or when they might be activated.

“As conditions become more and more known those decisions will be made,” Soliz said.

He recommends two apps to help you weather the storm. Code Red will display any active emergency alerts and ReadyNC.org

“If there is a shelter open it will populate on here,” Soliz said. 

The app shows you which shelters are open, road conditions and where the power is out as officials urge residents to be ready.

“It's better right now to be over prepared than anything,” said Soliz. 

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