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Storms strung across Atlantic
two atl
Before the threat of hurricane Gustav even has a chance to fully dissipate, coastal cities are starting to brace for a new string of storms brewing. Local emergency officials are concerned that at least one of the storms will affect the area.
“We are looking at some possible contact in Liberty County,” Mike Hodges, director of Liberty-Hinesville Emergency Management Agency said. “I foresee that one of these storms is going to bring us the need for activity,”
But, ‘activity’ could mean a variety of things. Worst-case scenario, it means evacuation; best-case means stocking up on gasoline, food, water, cash and medications for flooding situations or power outages. As of Tuesday evening, officials were unsure of the severity and direction of the storm but said no matter what, people must prepare themselves for some degree of inevitable bad weather.
“You have to be able to take care of yourself for three to five days,” Bob Sprinkel, assistant county administrator, said when he spoke with First Baptist Church’s Goldenheirs on Tuesday about hurricane safety.
Hodges, who also attended the Goldenheirs meeting, agrees that it’s imperative to have a solid personal plan.
“You know your family and surroundings better than anyone, so think ‘What am I going to do,’” Hodges said.
Coastal officials aren’t the only ones concerned about the storms. On Tuesday, Ken Davis, public affairs officer for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency said they’re already starting to gear up for possible disaster situations by locating essential supplies and transportation.
“We activated the state operation center this morning,” Davis said. “We have agency representatives working on commodities and points of distribution.” However, right now, GEMA is only locating supplies and has not started distribution just yet.
Even if Liberty County doesn’t receive a direct hit from one of the storms, there is always the chance of flooding and bad weather. On the heels of hurricane Fay and other late-summer storms, Hodges is worried the ground is too saturated to hold any more rain.
“I’ve been a little concerned with the storms coming,” Hodges said of local erosion and flooding issues that formed due to drought conditions in early summer and heavy rains during the second half. These conditions cause root beds to be unstable and trees to topple.
“These storms push a lot of water in causing flooding,” Hodges said. “At the meeting with GEMA this morning they said there’s a possibility that St. Catherines Island could receive a 15-foot storm surge.”
As for evacuation requests and school closings, it’s too early to tell. However, Hodges said important decisions concerning these matters will be finalized this morning.
Vital emergency information is available at or by phone
(912)-877-LEMA (5362)

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