Decatur County under local state of emergency as Hurricane Michael approaches

Published 12:16 pm Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Hurricane Michael is currently a Category 2 storm, and is forecasted to become a Category 3 by the time it reaches the Florida coast this afternoon.

Decatur County is currently under a Hurricane Warning as the storm churns toward our region. Residents should closely monitor the situation as the storm is expected to occur in Decatur County before dawn on Wednesday, Oct. 10, and through early Thursday, Oct. 11.

Decatur County is also under an extreme wind threat. Forecasts are for sustained Tropical Storm force winds between 39 and 73 MPH with gusts up to 80-100 MPH.

Tropical Storm force winds are expected through the next 36 hours in Southwest Georgia.

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Decatur County Emergency Management is urging residents not to take this storm lightly, as wind speeds of this magnitude could cause significant damage and harm.

Residents are advised to prepare for uprooted trees and downed power lines with power outages. These power outages could last for several hours or even days. Unsecured buildings and unsecured lightweight objects should be anchored or tied down, including toys, trampolines, swings, trash cans and outdoor furniture.

Although mandatory evacuations are not being made at this time, residents in mobile homes are highly encouraged to evacuate to alternative shelter. Winds up to 50 MPH can cause serious damage to mobile homes. Emergency services are urging these residents not to wait until the storm hits to seek shelter, because it is often too late by then.

Local shelters will not be open due to Decatur County being in the path of the storm; however, if you have sheltering needs, please contact Decatur County EMA at (229) 248-3869 as early as possible to find out where Red Cross shelters are available. Shelters will not be opened in the hazard risk area due to being in harm’s way. At this time, Decatur County EMA is awaiting confirmation from GEMA on the closest Red Cross Shelter.

Things to keep in mind:

  • For power outages, contact your power company. Do not call 911 for normal power outages. If you have a medical condition and need power, 911 can only dispatch you an ambulance if you are having difficulties related to your medical condition. Power outages may be widespread and could last several hours or days. Make sure you have additional medical supplies to last an extended period of time.
  • Sandbags are located at the Decatur County Correctional Institute on Airport Road and at 1503 Pierce Street.
  • As winds increase stay off the roads and inside a permanent structure. Roadways may be blocked and inaccessible.