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Heavy rains still expected from TS Fay
hurric seller
Ed Derham, manager of the Hinesville Lowe’s, makes sure residents are prepared for the possibility some bad weather by stocking the Hurricane Essentials center. - photo by Photo by Lauren Hunsberger
While tropical storm Fay never strengthened to a full-blown hurricane, weather experts say Georgians — especially coastal residents — still need to be on guard as the storm is predicted to bring flooding.
“This storm has potential of becoming a major flooding event,” said David Stooksbury, state climatologist and professor of engineering and atmospheric studies at UGA. “Everybody in Southern Georgia definitely needs to be monitoring the storm and be prepared.”
Mike Hodges, director of the Liberty-Hinesville Emergency Management Agency, agrees that the amount of heavy rain predicted to drop in with this storm could be dangerous for areas that have been through a relatively dry summer coupled with a recent bought of thunderstorms.
“Recent weather conditions have caused softening root beds, which can lead to trees down,” Hodges said. “Heavy rain can be can just as destructive.”
If Fay causes damage or produces flooding, LHEMA is the place to go for help and information. The center, located at 100 Liberty St., will be open 24 hours a day during peak severe weather conditions, which are expected late today and early Thursday.
“We approach all of these things the same because they can change so fast in either direction,” Hodges said. “We will be on guard until the moment it passes by and we make sure people are safe.”
Weather officials are predicting saturating rains — Stooksbury expects some places to receive 20 inches of rain — because of Fay’s anticipated path. On Tuesday, the storm was headed up East Florida and was expected to briefly swing offshore and make a sharp western turn back toward land, bringing with it extremely high tides.
“This storm has a tremendous amount of convection,” Hodges said.
Although LHEMA has not issued an evacuation, Georgia residents should be prepared for the bad weather and possible flooding. Stooksbury said the most important thing is to stay informed.
“Everyone should have a NOAA weather radio so that they can hear the most recent updates and warnings,” Stooksbury said. Hodges agreed education is vital when it comes to natural disasters.
In addition to finding a dependable source of information, there is a short list of things all weather experts agree people should gather, such as a full tank of gas, extra cash (in case power knocks out ATMs), any prescription medication, food that can be eaten without cooking and a pre-approved family plan, complete with contacts and road map.
However, the most essential item on the preparation list is water.
“The thing about floods is that there’s water — water everywhere — and not a drop to drink,” Stooksbury said. “The rule is a gallon of water per person, per day. But, that’s just for drinking. That’s not counting water for washing and cooking.”
Tune into local radio and television stations as the storm progresses for safety information.


Local stores are making preparations to help residents get organized. Cindy Hughes, manager of Kroger, said that as of Tuesday afternoon, they haven’t seen much activity but she expects more people to be stocking up as Fay moves closer.
“ We’re bringing in essential products from the warehouse just in case,” Hughes said. “It’s too early to tell what people are going to get. People tend to wait until the last minute.”
Similarly, Wally Davidson, Wal-Mart store manager, said he hasn’t seen a rush yet, but he expects people will be picking up supplies if the power goes out.
“People equate it with camping supplies because if the power goes out, it’s like camping,” Davidson said.
This means a spike in sales for water, batteries, canned food, can openers, coolers, lanterns, first aid kits, among other products.
Lowe’s has a hurricane preparation display that includes batteries, weather radios and a free pamphlet packed with preparation tips and a hurricane-tracking map.
“Get all the things you need and leave if they tell you to,” said Ed Derham, Lowe’s store manager. “There’s no use in fighting it.”  
Derham and Jim Temple, zone manager, said they’ve noticed customers already stocking up on batteries. “ A sense of urgency started today,” Temple said.


How to Prepare a Personal Evacuation Plan (information provided by the Hinesville Red Cross)

• Identify ahead of time where you could go if you are told to evacuate. Choose several places — a friend’s home in another town, a motel, or a shelter.
• Keep handy the telephone numbers of these places as well as a road map of your locality. You may need to take alternative or unfamiliar routes if major roads are closed or clogged.
• Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or local radio or TV stations for evacuation instructions. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.


P3310031-The Hurricane Essentials Center at Lowe’s has already been seeing some action as coastal residents gear up for Fay.

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