Georgia DOT’s Southern Districts Prepared for Hurricane Impacts

| September 1, 2016

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ATLANTA – The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a tropical storm warning ahead of hurricane Hermine and Governor Deal today issued a state of emergency for 56 counties located in central, coastal and south Georgia to provide for emergency assistance in anticipation of the storm and effect on the counties in its path.

The NWS anticipates a triple threat of potential tornadoes, flooding and high sustained winds beginning tonight into Friday evening. The expected sustained winds may result in downed trees and power lines. The potential tornado threat will continue as the storm moves to the west and northwest across the southern portion of Georgia. The storm is currently projected to move rapidly and could cause tornadoes to spawn very quickly with little to no lead time. The public is urged to remain aware of tornado watches changing quickly to tornado warnings and to plan ahead. These tornado threats will precede the sustained wind threats and the potential flooding that is likely to occur with this storm.

Currently the projected rainfall totals for the southern portion of the state are two to eight inches with the strong possibility of flash flooding. There is potential for a one to two feet storm surge inundation mainly in flood prone areas.

Georgia DOT is making preparations ahead of the storm on a statewide level in partnership with the Governor’s Office, Georgia Emergency Management Agency, the National Weather Service and state and local officials. The traveling public’s safety is a top priority as Georgia DOT readies for tropical storm weather conditions. Maintaining the roads and bridges are essential before, during and after the storm.

Statewide, Georgia DOT crews are prepared to activate and deploy as needed.

  • Southeast Georgia (District Five) will begin bringing in crews at 10 p.m. tonight and will respond as the situation warrants.
  • In East Central Georgia (District Two) crews will begin deploying between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. on Friday morning.
  • Southwest Georgia (District Four) crews will be on standby beginning at midnight to ensure they can begin working as quickly as needed.
  • West Central Georgia (District Three) crews are on standby and will deploy as needed.
  • All other districts (District One, District Six and District Seven) will have three crews on standby to assist where needed across the state.

“We urge motorists to pay attention to warnings and advisories to stay off the roads due to the potential for flash flooding and downed trees,” said GDOT’s Maintenance Engineer Dale Brantley. “Our crews will work quickly to remove any dangers from the roadway, but we need to be able to get to trouble spots quickly.”

Georgia DOT’s maintenance staff and bridge inspectors will be available to regularly patrol the interstates, state roadways and bridges to assist in identifying potential hazards or negative impacts to travel. In the event that flooding occurs, crews will have to wait until water recedes to assess the situation. If motorists see flash flooding, trees down or other obstructions on roadways or bridges impeding travel, they are urged to call 511 and speak with an operator to report the incidents.

Motorists are reminded of the hazards of being on the roads during inclement weather that potentially includes high winds, flash flooding, the possibility of downed trees and possible road and bridge closures. The public is advised to not drive around barricades that are in place for motorist’s safety and to treat non-operational signals as a four-way stop. Additionally, the public should monitor local radio and TV stations for the latest details on weather conditions and possible evacuations.

For real-time road conditions, call 511 or visit www.511ga.org. For weather information, visit the National Weather Service in Tallahassee, Florida athttp://www.srh.noaa.gov/tlh/, or the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, Georgia at http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ffc/.

For information about the Georgia Department of Transportation, visit www.dot.ga.gov; you also may follow Georgia DOT on Facebook(http://www.facebook.com/GeorgiaDOT) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/gadeptoftrans).

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