The following press release was posted Monday morning from the Long County Board of Commissioners' office:
Long County Commission Chairman Robert Parker: In my capacity as Chairman and Long County's chief executive officer I am tasked with making the decisions of declaring local emergencies, determining the feasibility of keeping county offices open, determining whether or not evacuations may become necessary, and ensuring the safety and welfare of Long County's 20,000 citizens. These are decisions that I do not take lightly. Therefore, after meeting with the Long County Emergency Operations Team, consisting of Sheriff Craig Nobles, Mayor Jim Fuller, Superintendent David Edwards, Long County Emergency Management, the Long County Road Department, the Long County Fire Department, Excelsior EMS, and others regarding the potential impacts on our community from Hurricane Dorian, the following decisions have been made:
1. A local state of emergency has been declared for all of Long County and the City of Ludowici effective immediately and lasting until further notice. A local state of emergency allows government resources to be quickly allocated and allows myself and Sheriff Nobles to institute curfews and travel restrictions. At this time neither curfews nor travel restrictions are in place.
2. All local government offices including the Long County Courthouse, and the Ludowici City Hall will be closed Wednesday the 4th, and Thursday the 5th.
3. A voluntary evacuation for all of Long County and the City of Ludowici will begin immediately and remain in place until it is cancelled or made mandatory by myself or the Governor depending on the direction and intensity of the storm. Again, this evacuation is voluntary at this time, but I strongly urge anyone who has health problems, difficulty traveling, small children, or any other issues that would make taking care of yourself during potential long periods of wind, rain, possible flooding, and power outages to make arrangements now to evacuate and seek shelter further inland. Ultimately the decision to evacuate, even should it become mandatory, is yours to make but know this; should you choose to stay, even after evacuation becomes mandatory, we will not put the lives of our first responders on the line to provide services to you should the weather become severe.
Again, my fellow citizens, the decisions we make regarding your safety and well- being are never taken lightly and are made given the best and most accurate information available. I hope you take this opportunity to head these warnings and make sound decisions concerning your own safety as well as the safety of those you are responsible for. The track and intensity of this storm is still uncertain and is slow moving and unpredictable. Most importantly, we must continue to pray for both our community as well as the other communities in the path of this deadly storm and continue to move forward with the community spirit that has made our county great for the past 100 years.
Robert D. Parker
Chairman, Long County Board of Commissioners