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Weather expected to improve over weekend
Fay has already had some impact in Bryan County.

Tropical storm, flash flood and tornado watches remained in effect for southeast Georgia, parts of South Carolina and the Gulf Coast of Florida through Friday.

The center of the storm was expected to continue crossing over the northern part of Florida and into the panhandle Saturday evening.

"Bands of very heavy rain will continue to develop and push into the region from the Atlantic," the National Weather Service forecast.

The heaviest rainfall was along and south of I-16, especially across the southeast Georgia counties of Bryan, Chatham, Liberty, Long and McIntosh."

But Bryan County Emergency Services Director Jim Anderson said the county has only had a few minor issues related to the storm.

"There was an increase in traffic accidents, due to vehicles hydroplaning out on the wet roads. No roads have been closed off for flooding, at least to my knowledge. Richmond Place was closed off for just a moment," he said, noting there were no major car accidents. "We saw a couple power lines down and the power companies came out fairly quickly to get those taken care of. Other than that, I think by Saturday things will start improving."

The NWS anticipated two to five inches of additional rain to fall on the local region, versus one to two inches throughout southeast Georgia.

"Because heavy rain has already occurred in many locations, additional heavy rainfall may produce flash flooding, especially in areas of poor drainage," the NWS said. "Near the coast, strong onshore winds and elevated tide levels will continue to enhance the threat for flooding."

Anderson recommended all residents be aware of the possibility of road flooding and be sure to avoid driving across any roadway that appears flooded.

"Flooding could wash the roadway away and all of a sudden you’re driving through it and you’re in a big hole," he said. "We’ve got road closure signs and are ready for that possibility, but we haven’t had to use them yet."

Earlier in the week, Fay had been forecast to head northeast, but instead took a turn for the west on Friday.

She was continuing to move at about 4 m.p.h. in the direction of the Florida panhandle.

Maximum sustained winds had decreased down to 45 m.p.h. and the storm’s strength was expected to stay the same through Saturday evening.

Storm surge flooding of two to four feet above normal were expected along the Atlantic coastline and by Sunday, the storm was forecast to dump another four to eight inches of rain on the region – with isolated maximum amounts up to 12 inches.

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 and avoid areas near any bodies of water, and do not drive around any road barricades;

- If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately.

- 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, and keep all insurance policies, documents and other valuables in a safe-deposit box; and

- Assemble a disaster supply kit.

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