We appreciate gallows humor around here. We also often laugh at weather warnings because we know that most of them predict 10 out of every 1 actual event. Today is probably a good time to think about getting serious. Tomorrow morning some of you in SE Georgia will have to make some decisions.
Hurricane Matthew bears close monitoring. It’s a Category 4 storm. It’s current projection has it passing very near the Georgia coast as a Cat 4 or Cat 3 storm. Either would be considered a “major” hurricane.
Based on my hours of viewing the Weather Channel when I can’t sleep and a recent stay at a Holiday Inn Express, I will say that even if the storm stays offshore, it’s size gives it a pretty good chance to create a storm surge and/or coastal flooding. Depending on how much rain falls, the problem will be exacerbated. Feeder bands well away from the eye are capable of producing tornadoes with little warning, as some of my friends in The Landings found out a few weeks ago as Hermine approached. One of them lost a car.
The storm will likely impact SE Georgia beginning Friday morning. A small shift westward could spell big problems. Anyone needing to make preparations will have less than 48 hours from the time they get up tomorrow morning. As such, if you live along Georgia’s Golden Isles, it’s time to start seriously thinking about what the next 72 hours will be like, and what preparations need to be made.
A lot of us have a false sense of security believing that the inland nature of the GA coast relative to Florida and the Carolinas makes us immune to a direct hit. That belief will last for many until it is proven wrong. Having been on the periphery of a few storms, I would hate to be on one of those islands at the same time I was proven wrong.
That said, GEMA is already monitoring based on a brief twitter interaction I had with GEMA Director Jim Butterworth yesterday. You can find up to date storm track projections at this link. Coastal residents should avoid the rush and get gas tanks filled, batteries/candles/toilet paper/(we know most of you read that as “beer”), and whatever you need to get through a few days without power if you’re staying, and/or figure out now where you’re going to go if you need to leave.
Above all, be safe.
Updated: Governor Deal has declared a State of Emergency for 13 counties in SE Georgia:
October 4, 2016
Acting on a recommendation from the state’s Emergency Operations Command in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew, Gov. Nathan Deal today issued a state of emergency for 13 counties in Georgia’s coastal areas. The National Hurricane Center forecasts Hurricane Matthew will travel dangerously close to the southeastern region of Georgia.
“Hurricane Matthew is forecast to potentially impact the Georgia coast within 72 hours,” said Deal. “While the exact effects are unknown at this time, I’ve issued an emergency declaration for coastal counties effective October 5 and extending for seven days. I’ve ordered the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMHSA) to work with appropriate state and local agencies to ensure all precautions are taken to protect residents and minimize risks to property and roads. The safety of Georgians is our first priority, and we urge residents in these areas to remain calm but vigilant as they prepare for potential impact.”
The state of emergency includes the following 13 counties: Brantley, Bryan, Bulloch, Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Effingham, Evans, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh and Wayne counties.
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