Hurricane Irma is just over 24 hours out. Shelters in Douglas are about to open. Here is the latest information:
The current forecast track of Hurricane Irma places Coffee County on the east side of the center of the storm. Current predictions of the National Weather Service are for Coffee County to receive tropical storm force winds with the potential for sustained winds of 50 to 60 mph with gusts to 75 mph or greater. These conditions are expected to begin in our area sometime overnight Sunday and remain for 24 to 36 hours. There is an enhanced risk of tornadoes as this storm comes through our area with 8 - 15 inches of rain possible. Please do not take this storm lightly as this is a dangerous storm.
If you live in mobile homes seek shelter in a sturdy structure. Do the same if you don’t feel safe in your home. Central Square Complex, 200 South Madison Avenue in Douglas, will open as a Red Cross shelter at 8 p.m. on Saturday; others will open if needed.
Downed power lines may still be energized and can kill you from several feet away, so please do not get near any downed or low hanging wires. If you connect a generator to your electrical service without a transfer switch, even cutting off main breaker may not be enough to prevent power being fed back to the incoming powerlines and will create deadly conditions for linemen trying to restore your power. If anyone is injured or killed due to improper installation of a generator, the owner can be held liable.
All Coffee County Schools will be closed both Monday and Tuesday along with non-essential staff at Coffee County Courthouse and City of Douglas. Transwaste will not run Monday’s route but if conditions allow will resume normal services Tuesday.
Due to unsafe conditions if sustained winds reach 50 mph emergency services responses may be halted or delayed. This includes law enforcement, EMS and Fire. Type hyperreachcoffee in your internet search bar to sign up for tornado warnings and community alert by phone and social media. This is a free service provided by Southwire. Current local wind speeds and other weather information can be found at www.Wunderground.com.
Donations of prepackaged food, i.e. chips, cookies, Power Bars, etc. may be taken to First Baptist Church, and it will be delivered to the shelter as needed. All prepared food must be prepared in a Safe Serve kitchen and First Baptist Church meets that criteria. Volunteers are needed to prepare meals, but all meal preparation must be done in the kitchen at First Baptist.
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