Mike Hodges, Liberty County Emergency Management director, said the best thing residents can do to be prepared for the type of weather approaching Hinesville is to remain aware of developments.
"This particular type of front is a rapid-moving front," Hodges said. "If you aren't prepared, it will be over and gone before you've had time to prepare."
Hodges said outdoor items that may become flying projectiles should be secured or brought inside, and windows should be secured as well. For power outages, flashlights with batteries and battery-powered lanterns are preferable to candles. Food supplies that can be eaten without being cooked also are good to have on hand, as well as a manual can opener, he said.
Liberty County Schools announced about 2 p.m. that classes are ending early today because of the chance of bad weather.
An announcement from the board fo education office asked elementary school principals to have buses loaded and gone at 2:15. Middle and high schools are supposed to have their students headed home by 3:10.
Long County Schools announced they are releasing buses about 10 minutes early, but parents are welcome to pickup students whenever they can.
Liberty County parents can also pick up students whenever they can make it to schools.
The announcement said Liberty Emergency Management Agency is warning that gusts of between 30 and 35 mph are expected to move into the area, possibly as early as 3. Top heavy buses do not travel well in wind and the announcement advises drivers to go to the nearest school if weather becomes threatening during their routes. The schools may not be students' home schools. Parents can pick up students at those schools, if buses are detoured.
All after-school activities have been canceled.
Other area schools have also be called off early today. Public schools in Chatham and Bryan counties canceled classes about an hour earlier. Savannah Technical College announced all of its campuses closed at 1. There will be no afternoon or evening classes. For now, officials plan to reopen Thursday on normal schedule.
The actions are being prompted by a weather front that is moving across the state from west to east. Here is an Associated Press story that ran on the state wire earlier this afternoon:
Rainstorms strike metro Atlanta
ATLANTA (AP) - Metro Atlanta commuters had to deal with heavy rain Wednesday morning, and a flood watch was issued for the area.
Officials in Pickens County in north Georgia closed their schools for the day, citing widespread power outages. Weather-related delays were reported at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
The National Weather Service issued several weather advisories, including a high wind warning for mountain counties and a tornado watch for southwest Georgia.
Schools in Savannah and surrounding Chatham County closed early Wednesday as forecasters warned powerful storms could reach the Georgia coast Wednesday afternoon.
Rainfall totals through 11 a.m. included 1.52 inch at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, 1.46 inches in downtown Atlanta and 2.07 inches in Peachtree City