Tropical storm and flash flood watches remained in effect for Bryan County and coastal Georgia Thursday.
Heavy rain associated with the outer bands of tropical storm Fay, which started Thursday morning, were forecast to continue affecting portions of southeast Georgia including Bryan County.
“Showers may be heavy at times,” the NWS reported, noting communities affected by the heaviest band of rain included Hinesville. “Rainfall amounts will range from one to two inches per hour with locally higher amounts possible. Motorists should take caution as ponding of water on roadways is expected.”
Bryan County Emergency Services Director Jim Anderson said the county is continuing to watch the storm and is still in the monitoring phase.
“We’ve identified equipment that we may need in the event of flooding,” he said. “The most important thing local residents can do is not drive through roadways that have been flooded. Flooding could wash the roadway away and all of a sudden you’re driving through it and you’re in a big hole. We’ve got road closure signs and are ready for that possibility.”
Fay was expected to produce rainfall accumulations of five to 10 inches across the northern portion of Florida, southern Georgia and southeastern Alabama with isolated amounts up to 15 inches. Isolated storm total accumulations of 20 to 30 inches have already been reported over the east central coastal areas of Florida.
Storm surge flooding of one to three feet above normal tides is possible along the east coast of Florida and Georgia to the north of the center of the storm.
Fay was expected to move back over Florida through Thursday, while slowly approaching the panhandle. At 11 a.m., the storm was northeast of Daytona Beach, Fla., having once again been stationary for several hours. Fay was expected to be near the Gulf Coast by late Friday or early Saturday.
Sustained winds created by Fay were up to 65 m.p.h. Tuesday and decreased to 45 m.p.h. Wednesday. By Thursday, they were back up to 60 m.p.h. with higher gusts and tornado warnings remained in effect. A gradual weakening of the storm was expected once she began moving into the panhandle.
While floods can take several days to develop, a flash flood can take just minutes. A “watch” means a flood is possible in Bryan County and a “warning” means flooding has already occurred or will occur soon.
The Red Cross recommends:
- When a flash flood watch is issued, be alert to signs of flooding and be ready to evacuate at a moments notice;
- When a flash flood warning is issued, evacuate immediately because there may only be seconds for you to get out;
- Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, storm drains, etc. and do not drive around any road barricades;
- If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.
- Reduce potential damage by raising your furnace, water heater and electric panel if they are in an area that may be flooded;
- Prepare a family disaster plan, check to see if your insurance covers flooding and keep all insurance policies, documents and other valuables in a safe-deposit box; and