Lowndes Officials: No Significant Change to Hurricane Forecast

| September 10, 2017


Lowndes County, Georgia – Lowndes County remains under a Hurricane Watch, this morning’s briefing from the National Weather Service did not indicate an improvement in forecast conditions.  The current forecast from the National Weather Service indicates extremely dangerous conditions to include:

– Peak Wind Forecast: up to 80 mph sustained with gusts in excess of 100 mph.  Tropical storm force winds are forecast to arrive between 8:00-10:00 p.m. this evening.  Once they arrive, tropical storm force winds are expected to remain in the area for 24 hours.

– Window for Tropical Storm force winds: early Monday morning until early Tuesday morning

The current threat to life and property is high.  Dangerous and life-threatening wind is possible.

Failure to adequately shelter may result in serious injury or loss of life.

This being the case, a voluntary evacuation is in place county wide for Lowndes County.  If you are concerned with remaining in Lowndes County, you need to consider evacuating.

Citizens should prepare for winds higher than ever recorded in Lowndes County.

Expected winds may prevent public safety responders from immediately responding in the event of an emergency call.  Please know personnel will respond, but there could be a delay based on wind speed.

Potential impacts are projected to be extensive and could include:

– Major damage to frame built homes, with some experiencing partial roof or wall collapse.
-Numerous windows and garage doors will fail, leading to additional structural damage.
-Mobile homes significantly damaged, with many destroyed.
-Damage increased by large projectiles. Locations may be uninhabitable for days to weeks.
– Numerous large trees snapped or uprooted with roadway signs blown over.
– Some primary and many secondary roads are impassible due to debris.
– Significant power and communication outages.

BE PREPARED FOR POWER TO BE OUT MORE THAN A WEEK.

Rain:

– Peak Rainfall Amounts: 6-10 inches, higher amounts possible.

Hurricane Irma is primarily forecast as a wind event; however, flooding may occur.  Conditions are also favorable for tornados.

SHELTERING:
Those residing in mobile homes should seek more adequate shelter from this storm.  No one should remain in a recreational vehicle.  Additional shelters will be opened as needed and as space becomes available.  Shelters are currently open at the following locations:

*   CrossPointe Church, 4100 North Valdosta Road, Valdosta (no pets) – FULL
*   Park Avenue United Methodist Church, 100 East Park Avenue, Valdosta (some pet space) – FULL
*   First United Methodist Church, 109 West Valley St. (some pet space)
*   First Baptist Church, 200 West Central Ave. – opening at 2:00 p.m.
*   Redland Baptist Church, 4888 Rocky Ford Rd., opening at 2:00 p.m.
*   Eastern Heights Baptist Church, 2399 New Statenville Hwy

*   The City of Valdosta will open Mathis Auditorium, 2300 North Ashley Street, as a Good Samaritan shelter on Sunday, Sept. 10, at 4 p.m., to shelter those who live in mobile homes, RV’s or less-safe housing and need a place to weather the storm.  Those who choose to reside at Mathis Auditorium for the duration of the storm will need to bring their own bedding, medications, non-perishable food items and any personal items they may need. No pets will be allowed at the shelter, and people are advised to make other arrangements for the care of their pets. The city requests that once people check into the facility that, for their own safety, they not leave until the strongest part of the storm subsides and until it is safe to do so.

TRAVEL:
DO NOT TRAVEL UNTIL SEVERE WEATHER HAS COMPLETELY MOVED THROUGH THE AREA.  Public safety will continue to respond to the needs of citizens.  Citizens should be aware there could be some delay in response if wind speeds sustain a level at which public safety vehicles cannot safely respond.
Lowndes County Emergency Management will continue to update media outlets throughout this event.  In in event of an emergency, downed power lines, or debris on a roadway, dial 911.  Do not call 911 for weather updates, traffic information, or to ask if the storm has passed.  Dispatchers will be very busy assisting public safety personnel and managing needs related to actual emergencies.
ANNOUNCEMENTS – City of Valdosta:

*   Due to the intensity of Hurricane Irma, Valdosta city government will be closed on Monday, Sept. 11, which includes all non-essential services. City employees should NOT report to work on Monday, with the exception of those employees requested to come into work.
*   The city encourages private businesses and organizations to likewise cancel all non-essential services on Monday for their safety.
*   As a reminder, there will be no sanitation services on Monday, Sept. 11. It is important that citizens do not place their trash bins or debris at the curb on Sunday and Monday to prevent the debris from being blown around in the storm and potentially clogging storm drains and causing flooding.
*   The City of Valdosta will open Mathis Auditorium, 2300 North Ashley Street, as a Good Samaritan shelter on Sunday, Sept. 10, at 4 p.m., to shelter those who live in mobile homes, RVs or less-safe housing and need a place to weather the storm. Those who choose to reside at Mathis Auditorium for the duration of the storm will need to bring their own bedding, medications, non-perishable food items and any personal items. No pets will be allowed at the shelter, and people are advised to make other arrangements for the care of their pets. The city requests that once people check into the facility that, for their own safety, they not leave until the strongest part of the storm subsides and until it is safe to do so.
*   The Fire, Police, Public Works, Utilities and Engineering Departments will be minimally staffed and prepared to respond to emergency needs of citizens. However, citizens should be aware of some delay during extreme wind speeds when public safety vehicles cannot safely respond.
*   During the storm, please stay off the road for your safety and the safety of passengers.
*   Expect power outages. Remember, incorrect generator use can lead to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from the engine exhaust, electric shock or electrocution, and fire. Position generators outdoors and well away from any structure—Running a generator inside any enclosed or partially enclosed structure will lead to dangerous and often fatal levels of CO. Visit Georgia Power site at https://www.georgiapower.com/in-your-community/storm-center/after/generator-safety.cshtml for safety tips.
*   As a reminder, motorists who approach a traffic intersection with an inoperative traffic light should treat the intersection as a four-way stop. The first motorist to arrive has the right to proceed through intersection, and motorists thereafter will proceed in the order they arrive. If multiple motorists arrive at the intersection at the same time, the driver to the right proceeds, and the rest proceed in a clockwise manner.​​

Please visit www.ready.ga.gov<http://www.ready.ga.gov> for information on preparing you home for Hurricane Irma.  Additional information will be released as it becomes available.  For more information, please contact Lowndes County Public Information Officer, Paige Dukes, 229-671-2400 or pdukes@lowndescounty.com<mailto:pdukes@lowndescounty.com>.

Updated Georgia Red Cross Shelter list:

OPEN SHELTERS:    

MACON:

Brooks (East Macon) Recreation Center   

3326 OCMULGEE E BLVD   

 

North Macon Park Community Center   

815 N MACON PARK DR    Macon

 

Frank Johnson Recreation Center

2227 MERCER UNIVERISTY DR   

 

Rosie Jackson

1211 Maynard St.

 

Memorial Gymnasium

2565 Second St.

 

Macon City Auditorium

15 First St.

 

CORDELE:

Blackshear Trail Elementary School   

1001 Blackshear Road   

 

DUBLIN:

Dublin High School   

1127 Hillcrest Pky   

 

East Laurens High School   

920 HWY 80 E    East Dublin

 

East Laurens Middle School

930 Highway 80 E

 

VALDOSTA: AT CAPACITY

Crosspointe Church   

4100 North Valdosta Road   

 

COLUMBUS:

Columbus Civic Center   

400 4th Street   

 

Northside Recreation Center

2010 American Way

 

Shirley B. Winston Recreation Center

5033 Steam Mill Rd.

 

Frank Chester Recreation Center

1441 Benning Dr.

 

GROVETOWN:

Patriots Parks

5445 Columbia Rd.

 

Sweetwater Recreation Park

180 Sweetwater Park Drive

 

CUTHBERT:

First Baptist Church of Cuthbert   

567 College St   

 

AUGUSTA: 

Westside High (1st group of CTN from Chatham)   

1002 Patriots Way   

 

Trinity on the Hill- for self-evacuees   

1330 Monte Sano Ave   

Butler High School

2011 Lumpkin Rd.

 

Glenn Hills Middle School

2941 Glenn Hills Dr.

 

Glenn Hills High School

2840 Glenn Hills Dr.

 

Pine Hill Middle School

2147 McElmurray Rd.

 

Academy of Richmond County

910 Russell St.

 

Cross Creek High School

3855 Old Waynesboro Rd.

 

Henry Brigham Community Center

2463 Golden Camp Rd.

 

Warren Rd. Community Center

300 Warren Rd.

 

Spirit Creek Middle School

115 Dolphin Way

 

Morgan Rd. Middle School

3635 Hiers Blvd.

 

Langford Middle School

3019 Walton Way

 

Tubman Performance Center

1740 Walton Way

 

TUTT Middle School

495 Boy Scout Rd.

 

WAYCROSS:

Ware County High School   

700 Victory Drive   

 

Waycross Middle School

700 Central Ave.

 

TIFTON:

Abraham Baldwin College   

2802 Moore Highway   

DOUGLAS:

Central Square Complex

200 S. Madison Ave.

 

CARTERSVILLE:

Liberty Square Church

2001 Liberty Square Dr. NE   

 

ALBANY:

Albany Civic Center

100 W Oglethorpe Blvd   

 

THOMASVILLE:

 

NEW COVENANT CHURCH

48 Patterson Still Spur East

 

FORT VALLEY:


Peach County Fire Department Station 6

1760 Hwy 341

 

Camp John Hope

281 Hope Entrance Blvd.

 

BYRON:

Peach County Fire Department Station 1

6711 Peach Parkway Hwy 19

 

THOMSON:

Sweetwater Recreation Park

180 Sweetwater Park Drive

OPENING LATER TONIGHT IN AUGUSTA:

Hephzibah High School

4558 Brothersville Rd.

 

Hephzibah Middle School

2427 Mims Dr.

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