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Kentucky Gears Up To Aid Hurricane Relief

This GOES East satellite image taken Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. EDT, and provided by NOAA shows Hurricane Florence in the Atlantic Ocean as it threatens the U.S. East Coast, including Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina.

While Kentucky prepares to send emergency teams to coastal states ahead of Hurricane Florence, the storm is already forcing some Lexington event organizers to make changes. 

The commonwealth is set to deploy two Swiftwater Search and Rescue Teams to North Carolina as the Category 4 hurricane approaches the East Coast. The action comes after the state requested the extra assistance Tuesday. It will be coordinated through what’s called the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.

Kentucky Emergency Management Director Mike Dossett tells the Associated Press the state is intentionally sending firefighters from western Kentucky counties because "the remnants of Hurricane Florence are expected to dump up to 2 inches of rain in eastern Kentucky next week, which will likely cause flash flooding." 

110 lineworkers from the commonwealth will also be heading to Virginia to help restore any downed power systems. 

An emergency declaration has been issued in Kentucky, waiving certain regulations for commercial motor carriers involved in relief efforts.

Meanwhile, Lexingtonians are thinking ahead. Julie Wrinn, director of the Kentucky Women Writers Conference slated to begin on Thursday, says one speaker has already canceled and been replaced. Another will conduct her presentation through video conferencing, but Wrinn says the storm could affect many who attend.

"The airline hubs that are in the affected states are an issue for a lot of our attendees, so we just have to keep our fingers crossed and hope people can make alternate plans," she says.