It’s only six days into the 2013 hurricane season, but coastal Georgia and much of the southern East Coast is already bracing for the first named storm of the season.
All of coastal Georgia, including Bryan County, is under a tropical storm warning as of 8 a.m. today. Tropical Storm Andrea is expected to pass over Bryan County and the surrounding areas overnight and reach Virginia by Friday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
Chief Freddy Howell with Bryan County Emergency Services said Bryan County residents need to be on the lookout for downed trees and flooding in low-lying areas.
"They need to watch out for the winds, with possible trees coming down ... especially with all the rain, we could have branches come down," he said Thursday morning.
He noted that residents around the river and creeks may be more prone to flooding and said those near tidal creeks should be aware of when high tide comes in.
"We want people to monitor the storm and stay put," Howell said. "They need to stay inside and stay off the roads when it does get bad."
As of 7 a.m., Andrea was in the Gulf of Mexico nearing the Florida panhandle at 13 mph with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph with gusts up to 70 mph. But according to the NWS, winds are expected to be around 20-30 mph by the time it reaches the Bryan County area. Gusts of up to 45 are expected, especially closer to the coast.
A flash flood watch is also in effect for Bryan County as the area could get as much as 5 inches of rain. Isolated tornadoes are also possible, especially east of I-95, according the NWS.