By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
All eyes on Hanna
Placeholder Image
Forecasters with the National Weather Service say Bryan County is on the list of the areas that could receive a direct Category 1 or 2 hit from Tropical Storm Hanna. Hanna is projected to make landfall Friday and could come in anywhere from Florida to North Carolina. Bryan County residents need to prepare now and they need to finalize their plans, Bryan County Emergency Services Director Jim Anderson said of a potential evacuation order. Everyone needs to watch this storm and be ready to leave. Everything is in place for me to fax and email a voluntary evacuation order. Im just waiting to see if we get to that trigger point. A decision on whether or not Bryan County will initiate the order will be released today at noon, according to Anderson. This immediately follows Andersons 11:45 a.m. briefing from the hurricane center in Charleston. As soon as it is released, the information will be available on School closings may follow, but no decision has been made on this yet, according to Superintendent Dr. Sallie Brewer. Brewer said she and other school officials at the Board of Education central office in Pembroke are monitoring two different weather channels. Jim Anderson has done a great job of giving us all the latest updates as well, Brewer said. We want to be careful, but we dont want to panic. Anderson said Hanna hasnt picked its path yet, so its impossible to tell where a direct hit will be, but his department has prepared itself for a direct category 2 hit. If a category 2 hit were to occur, Anderson said it would inevitably result in structural damage, debris, strong winds, heavy rain and flooding especially in low lying areas. As of Tuesday evening, Hanna was stationary near the Bahamas. In its path, Hanna caused flood waters in Haiti, which reportedly caused 10 Haitians to drown as it passed through that area. Even if it makes landfall somewhere else, like Jacksonville for example, Southeast Georgia will still experience high winds and a storm surge, said Ron Morales, a forecaster with the National Weather Service. Morales said there is the potential for Hanna to weaken before it hits the U.S., which would lessen the threat. Coastal Georgia should at least anticipate heavy winds around 40-50 miles per hour, he said. The closer you are to the coast, the stronger the winds will be and the higher the potential is for flooding. Morales said hurricane season officially runs from June 1 to November 30, and right now is historically the peak of the season. This is evident by two more systems, Ike and Josephina, which are forming further off the coast. Hurricane season is very active right now, Morales said. Even if we dodge the Hanna bullet, there are two more well-developed systems moving westward. Morales said it is way too early to tell what impact Ike and Josephina will have on the U.S., if any, because they are too far out. Here are some important facts in the event of an evacuation: - Evacuation routes. From Richmond Hill, take 144 through Fort Stewart, to 280 in Reidsville where you take a left, to 341 in McCray. From Pembroke, just get on 280 to Reidsville to 341 in McCray. Anderson said these routes should move faster than the congested ones on I-95 and I-16. - Tune your radio to 91.1 FM. Local officials will broadcast any pertinent up-to-date information on the disaster or potential disaster. - Have an emergency supply kit ready to go throughout hurricane season. This consists of the following items: important papers stored in waterproof containers, three gallons of water for every person that will be with you, food that wont spoil, one change of clothing and shoes per person, prescription medicines, one blanket or sleeping bag per person, first aid kid, battery-powered portable radio, emergency tools and flashlight with extra batteries. What if you dont have a vehicle or are handicapped? Anderson said there is a plan for both both of which take you to the old Kroger parking for departure on a bus. If you do not have transportation, you can call the emergency services operation center to arrange a pick-up. Those with special needs are on file with the health department, Anderson said. They will all be picked up early and evacuated by emergency personnel. Anderson said boarding and taping your windows often comforts people as they leave their homes, and that it doesnt hurt. He said the important thing is to leave and leave early if the county orders a hurricane evacuation.
Sign up for our E-Newsletters