10/06/06 — Wayne should not feel affects of Apex fires, gas cloud

View Archive

Wayne should not feel affects of Apex fires, gas cloud

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on October 6, 2006 1:48 PM

With smoke from the EQ Industrial Services chemical fire billowing over Apex, Wayne County officials are keeping a close eye on where the cloud might be headed next.

But according to current estimates from the National Weather Service, that threat does not include Wayne County.

"I think with the distance, I don't think it'll be an issue," Wayne County Emergency Management coordinator Mel Powers said this morning. "But we're monitoring it and will continue to monitor it."

Goldsboro is about 65 miles away from Apex.

He also noted that there is little reason for area farmers -- even those near the Johnston County line -- to be concerned about their livestock.

"It's highly unlikely we're going to even be close to being inudated with this. I don't see impact at all with with this," he said.

Jonathan Blaez, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Raleigh, said that despite the winds blowing north to south, the poison smoke is not expected to reach this far southeast.

"Unless something drastic occurs, the area of concern, in terms of aerial coverage, is just a few miles. That plume would have a hard time traveling more than about 10 miles, so in terms of direct impact on Wayne County and Goldsboro, there shouldn't be any," he said.

But if the situation changes, Wayne County officials are confident their management plans.

"If it turned out we were being inudated with this, we would definitely set shelters up and evacuate the area," Powers said. "The main thing we'd use (to notify people) is the emergency alert system. If it got to a point it was becoming a major issue, we'd do door-to-door notificiations with the volunteer fire departments and law enforcement."

Powers also said he is not expecting a large influx of evacuees from Apex and Wake County.

"We'd be notified by North Carolina Emergency Manage-ment if they were going to need us to set up shelters," he said.

In Duplin County, officials are not worrying about any possible fallout from the fire.

Duplin Emergency Services Director Craig Forlines was in a meeting this morning and could not be reached for comment, but County Manager Mike Aldridge said he hasn't heard from Forlines this morning and that he personally does not consider the cloud a threat.