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North Bryan prepares
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With Tropical Storm Hanna no longer a major threat to the Georgia coast, many in North Bryan are also breathing a sigh of relief.

"Thank the good Lord, Hanna look like it might miss us," Pembroke Mayor Judy Cook said Thursday after a week of worrying about where the storm might hit. "If anything, it will have a minimal impact here."

But as Hanna sailed northward Friday toward the Carolinas, another storm brewing in the Atlantic has been giving officials still more reason for concern.

According to the National Weather Service, Hurricane Ike is headed toward a possible U.S. landfall at some point next week, and Friday forecasts have the southeast coast, including Bryan County, on watch.

Jim Anderson, director of Bryan County Emergency Services said Hanna served as a trial run for county emergency preparedness as they continue to monitor Ike, which downgraded from a Category 4 storm to a Category 3 on Friday.

"It’s a big boy and needs to be watched," he said.

Pembroke Police Chief Bill Collins and Anderson both indicated that Bryan County’s emergency plan is for the whole county, with no differentiation between the north and south ends, despite the split by Fort Stewart.

"If a Category 4 or 5 hurricane threatens a direct hit, the entire county could be evacuated." Collins said.

Sounding confident about the county’s storm readiness, both Collins and Anderson said emergency crews, the police force and city officials are on alert and standby, emergency vehicles have been topped with fuel, including the four-wheel-drives, and emergency plans are only a phone call away from action.

"All emergency departments and department heads are working through the weekend monitoring the storm, and Monday, 7 a.m. all officers are on stand-by." Collins said.

Residents need to be sure to have evacuation plans ready, essential supplies stocked, and continue to monitor news and weather reports for essential information, Anderson and Collins said.

Up at 3 a.m. monitoring multiple weather reports, School Superintendent Dr. Sallie Brewer said safety is first for the children and staff of Bryan County Schools. Two televisions are monitored at all times and continued communication with media provides constant updates.

If the schools must close, announcements will be on local television and radio stations and school staff will implement a telephone tree calling system until everyone is contacted.

Updated every 12 hours, a hotline is offered by Bryan County Emergency Services at 858-2734 as well as a website with valuable information on hurricane preparedness at

According to Collins, Bryan County officials are working with the DOT on evacuation routes. I-16 is being prepared for one-way, outflow traffic, and Hwys. 80 and 280 will act as overflow for outbound evacuation traffic if I-16 becomes too full.

The mayor said it’s a little early to determine the course of Ike since storms are so unpredictable, but city crews have been preparing storm gutters, generators and ensuring the roads are clear in case of emergency. She said the situation as it develops will determine action and city employees are ready.

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