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Rainy days ahead?
Tropical system could soak Liberty, Long counties

 It’s still the heart of hurricane season and Thursday’s weather forecast is just another reminder to stay prepared for a weather emergency.

Tropical Depression Nine is not expected to develop into a hurricane based on the latest forecast from the National Weather Service. But it is expected to be a rain event in the area, especially Thursday evening.

“The main body of this storm is going to pass through…probably through upper Florida…and what we expect out of that is probably some 25 mile an hour winds…and two to four inches of rain…more locally heavy on the coast…more of a rain event at this point,” Liberty County Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Hodges said.

Hodges noted everyone should monitor the storm, as Mother Nature can be unpredictable and the storm may speed up, slow down or intensify, thereby changing how it effects the area.

He said should the storm stay on course it would likely hit Liberty and Long in the overnight hours Thursday  and then Friday morning.

Hodges said the storm’s track had already strayed from previous models. Depression Nine drifted closer to the Yucatan Peninsula than meteorologists had first predicted. It means the storm may stay out in warmer waters with the potential to gain strength.

According to a Tuesday afternoon forecast from the National Hurricane Center by the time Tropical Depression nine makes landfall in the gulf area of Florida it will be a Tropical Storm with winds around 60 miles per hour.

Roughly 3- 5 inches of rain are expected in the Savannah area and there is a strong likelihood this storm could spur tornadic activity in the area.

The storm’s timing coincides with Gov. Nathan Deal’s proclamation of September as National Preparedness Month.

Throughout the month, the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency’s (GEMHSA) Ready Georgia campaign is encouraging all Georgia residents to take simple actions to prepare before disasters strike.

According to a press release Ready Georgia promotes three simple steps to prepare for emergencies: be informed, make a plan and build a kit.

People should be informed potential threats and make a plan communicating and reconnecting with family members if you are separated during an emergency; and build a kit of emergency supplies that allows families to be self-sufficient for up to 72 hours following a disaster.

According to a recent statewide survey conducted by GEMHSA, only one in four Georgians are fully prepared for an emergency. Survey results also demonstrated many Georgia residents have not taken two critical steps toward being ready: only 39 percent have arranged a meeting place or reconnection plan with their families, while 53 percent have assembled an emergency kit for their home.

“National Preparedness Month is the time for all Georgians to take action,” said GEMHSA Director Jim Butterworth. “Emergencies can affect us anywhere and at any time. Taking at least one simple action to become better prepared makes you, your family and your community more resilient when the worst happens.”

Hodges said people in Liberty County should sign up for Alert Liberty.

The system enables Liberty EMA in providing the registered user with critical information quickly in a variety of situations, such as severe weather, unexpected road closures, missing persons and evacuations.

Registration takes just a few minutes online. To register visit:

For more information on Ready Georgia visit:

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