Red Cross opens shelter at the Berglund Center

Local News
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The American Red Cross has opened an emergency shelter at the Berglund Center in Roanoke due to the forecast of possible flash flooding in Southwest Virginia.

The City of Roanoke said the shelter opened at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Pets will be allowed at the shelter.

Florence was located in South Carolina this morning, east of Kingstree and north of Andrews, and is expected to drift slowly westward today, then turn northwest by Sunday and cross the southern Appalachians in Western North Carolina. Because there is more confidence in this track, there is also more confidence that rainfall totals across our area from late Saturday into Monday will produce extreme flooding across portions of our forecast area, with possible impacts from river flooding lasting well into next week. 

The City of Roanoke is constantly monitoring flooding conditions and will communicate with the media via social media, the City of Roanoke website, and through email notifications. 

The following is information we ask local media outlets to share with the public:

Public Shelter – The American Red Cross Shelter opened at 1 p.m. today (Saturday, Sept. 15). The shelter location is at the Berglund Center (710 Williamson Rd.  Roanoke, VA 24016).

  • When arriving at the shelter, you will check in.  Pets are allowed at the shelter.  Bring vaccine records if you have them. *No exotic pets or wildlife or aggressive dogs will be allowed in the shelter.
  • What to pack: bedding, clothing, medications, comfort items (for children, i.e., stuffed animal, blanket or “lovey”), and your emergency kit.
  • Don’t bring alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, weapons.
  • For more information about Red Cross Shelters visit:

Drones –The FAA is warning unauthorized drone operators to stay out of the skies around areas impacted by the storm. Unauthorized flights during and after the storm could disrupt emergency response flights. Fines for such interference can run up to $20,000. For more information visit: 

Personal Flotation Devices – it is important to note that if roadways become flooded and you are out in flood waters, always wear an approved personal flotation device (PFD) or life jacket.  It is also important to remember that flood waters can remove manhole covers and if you step into one of these manholes you will drown.  It is best to stay out of flood waters and exit any area that is expected to be impacted before flooding occurs.   *This is also important information for reporters and members of the media to remember * Flood waters can also pose electrocution hazards.

Turn Around Don’t Drown – never drive through flooded roadways or bridges. However, if you find yourself trapped in a vehicle and it is filling with water here are some tips to help you survive: 

  • Stay calm and wait for the vehicle to fill with water.
  • Once the vehicle is full, the doors will be able to open.
  • Hold your breath and swim to the surface. 
  • If you are swept into fast moving floodwater outside of your car, point your feet downstream.

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