It seems that Hurricane Irma can’t make up her mind exactly what she would like to do. The various models still show her heading north through Florida around Sunday then into Georgia – and the Coffee County area – Sunday night or Monday morning. However, she is shifting more and more to the west and nothing at all about her line of travel is written in stone. She could likely change courses several times over the next two days.
That said, Coffee County will feel her effects one way or another. Several activities have already been cancelled for Monday. Anyone supposed to report for jury duty Monday has been relieved of their duties; court has been cancelled and it’s not necessary to show up. The most notable case on the calendar was the murder trial of Wallace Lee; that case has been continued until October.
School has been cancelled for the Coffee County School System, Citizens Christian Academy, Wiregrass Technical College, and South Georgia State College. The school system has only cancelled school for Monday at this time. SGSC, CCA, and Wiregrass Tech have cancelled school for Monday and Tuesday. SGSC students should monitor social media, their campus email, and their respective college’s Web site for further updates. All recreation department activities, including games and practices, have also been cancelled due to the weather.
At least two local shelters are open now and more shelters will open in Coffee County beginning Saturday. The holiness campground on Highway 32 East near General Coffee State Park is open as is Deberry Baptist Church near Broxton. Central Square Gym will open at 8 p.m. Saturday night after the barbecue festival ends. If more shelters are needed, Young’s Chapel Missionary Baptist Church and First Baptist Church will open as well.
One thing to keep in mind is to realize the mobility and uncertainty of this (and any) hurricane. Models are just that – models. Atmospheric conditions, ocean currents, weather systems throughout the country, and a variety of other factors affect how these storms travel. Like all hurricanes, Irma has a mind of her own and she may alter her course significantly over the weekend. Gather your news from trusted sources and remain vigilant.