Local News

Former WKBN intern, Niles graduate now planning coordinator for Florence efforts

Jessica Stumpf currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina

(WKBN) - A woman from Niles is working with Greenville County Emergency Management in South Carolina to plan, prepare and inform her community in the middle of the potentially deadly and disastrous Hurricane Florence.

Jessica Stumpf graduated from Niles McKinley High School. She interned here at WKBN while she was in college at Penn State under Don Guthrie and Paul Wetzl.

She currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina.

Emergency management teams across the Carolinas are working around the clock ahead of Hurricane Florence.

"These past couple of days, we've been checking resources and we deployed some teams down to the middle part of the state earlier today. Additionally, we are looking at what impacts we might see here from Florence," Stumpf said.

Even though Greenville is inland, it will still see impacts.

Stumpf says wind and rain could cause downed trees, power lines, extended periods of time without power, flooding and possibly tornadoes.

She and her team are the people who spend all day, every day preparing for disaster.

"We have accepted medical evacuees. So, hospitals down near the coast have evacuated their medical evacuees to hospitals here in our county," Stumpf said.

Her job as planning coordinator is to plan for and manage the response.

"We sent swift water rescue teams to the coast. We sent several trucks and boats down there to get ready for any flooding and any flooding rescues they may have to do," she said.

She says the state is ready for Hurricane Florence -- it has seen all types of natural disasters in the last few years, like ice storms, thousand-year flooding and hurricanes.

"I would say 'Team South Carolina' is prepared, they are ready to go. They have gotten very good at handling these situations because we've had to do it so often as of late, unfortunately," Stumpf said.

Right now, the seas are rocky and the rain is falling, but the hurricane hasn't made landfall just yet.

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