It may get soggy
At 5 p.m. Tuesday, a tropical storm watch was issued for Georgia from the Altamaha Sound to the Savannah River, according to the National Weather Service.
Fay was moving toward the northeastern part of Florida and expected to continue in that direction through Wednesday, making a gradual turn to the north and decreasing in its forward speed.
The storm was expected to hit the Atlantic near northeastern Florida by Wednesday evening. Maximum sustained winds were near 65 m.p.h., with higher gusts, Tuesday. Some strengthening of the storm was expected to happen late Wednesday.
Local officials were playing wait and see as a tropical storm watch was issued for Bryan County late Tuesday.
"We’re always in preparation mode," said Bryan County Emergency Services Director Jim Anderson. "But right now we’re basically in the monitoring phase. We’ve had conference calls between us and the National Hurricane Center to stay up-to-date. We’ve also been in contact with the DFACS and our regional Red Cross centers, to make sure they are ready if anything happens. Tomorrow, hopefully the forecast will tell us more about where she’s headed and what’s she’s going to do but right now we’re still just monitoring the storm."
Fay hit land early Tuesday, bringing heavy rains and lots of wind to southern Florida. Flooding was the major concern, with expected rainfall forecasted up to 15 inches and storm surges three to five feet above normal. Sustained 65 m.p.h. winds also resulted in warnings for isolated tornadoes.
While the storm’s path was still uncertain as it slowly headed north, bad weather associated with Fay could affect coastal Georgia this week.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), "Fay refuses to weaken." Tuesday, a tropical storm warning remained in effect for much of eastern Florida and was also issued for Georgia.
The storm was expected to reach the northeastern part of Florida Wednesday and weaken as it moved inland. However, NOAA has forecasted the storm will then move into Atlanta waters and "restrengthening is expected." Tropical storm winds can extend outward up to 115 miles of the storm’s center.
Look for updates on the storm at bryancountynews.net this week.
For more information about hurricane preparedness or the progress of Tropical Storm Fay, visit www.bryancoemergencyservices.org, www.redcross.org, or www.noaawatch.gov.
For more about insurance issues during a storm, call the Consumer Services Hotline at 404-656-2070, or 800-656-2298.
Find out more about flood insurance at www.floodsmart.gov.
Preparing for a storm
Here are some Red Cross tips on how to prepare for a bad storm or hurricane:
- Identify ahead of time where you could go if you are told to evacuate. Choose several places so options are open.
- Bryan County's evacuation routes include Interstates 16 and 95, as well as Hyw. 144 into Fort Stewart to Hwy. 280 to Hwy. 341. The re-entry route for South Bryan residents is only through Fort Stewart.
- Keep handy the telephone numbers of these places as well as a road map of your locality. You may need to take alternative or unfamiliar routes if major roads are closed or clogged.
- Listen to local radio or TV stations for evacuation instructions. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
- Take with you: prescription medications and medical supplies; bedding and clothing, including sleeping bags and pillows; bottled water, battery-operated radio and extra batteries, first aid kit, flashlight; car keys and maps; documents, including driver’s license, Social Security card, proof of residence, insurance policies, wills, deeds, birth and marriage certificates, tax records, etc.
- Assemble a disaster kit for your home, including: first aid kit and essential medications, canned food and can opener, at least three gallons of water per person, protective clothing, rainwear, and bedding or sleeping bags, battery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries, special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members, written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas and water if authorities advise you to do so.
- Prepare for high winds by considering hurricane shutters, or purchase precut half-inch outdoor plywood boards for each window of your home; and make trees more wind resistant by removing diseased and damaged limbs, then strategically removing branches so that wind can blow through.
- After the storm has passed, stay tuned to local reports for instructions. If an evacuation was issued, return home once local officials have said it is safe. Then, inspect your home for damage, using flashlights in the dark and not candles.
- The Georgia Insurance Commissioner encourages all residents to prepare for severe weather, including a review of property insurance.
Make copies of insurance policies, insurance company’s phone number and agent’s phone number; inventory personal belongings; and keep all of these documents in the case of an evacuation.
- If your home is damaged, contact your insurance agent and get claims forms. Remember that a typical homeowner’s policy does not cover damage from floodwaters and a separate policy must be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program.