The National Hurricane Center is predicting the possibility of 4-6 inches of rain with winds of 25-40 mph between Wednesday beginning at 8 PM through early Sunday morning. The degree of weather Douglas and Coffee County will receive depends on the path that Hurricane Ian takes and is subject to change. Currently, the path is showing that the hurricane has shifted the storm further to the east of Douglas-Coffee County. As the storm makes it way to our area, the City of Douglas is taking precautionary measures to prepare for the storm.
At this time, the Red Cross has not indicated plans to open shelter operations (subject to change). If activated, the shelter is ready to open.
City personnel are working a normal schedule. All Douglas-Coffee County Parks and Recreation games for Thursday night have been canceled and will be rescheduled if possible. Douglas Utilities and Public Works/ESG Operations crews are ready to respond.
Citizens are urged to begin preparing for winds which could lead to downed trees and power lines. Areas in Douglas that are low lying and need to request sandbags, please call 912-389-3450, dial 3-1-1, or 384-3302 to check availability of sandbags. Be aware of your surroundings. Report traffic light outages, roads that are flooded and downed power lines.
Be mindful and watch for Emergency Responders who are out during the storm trying to keep others safe. In case of a power outage, gas up all vehicles and go to the ATM for cash before the storm hits. Prepare for storm winds by removing diseased and damaged limbs from trees. Move or secure trash cans, lawn furniture, hanging plants or anything that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile. Make sure you have emergency supplies such as an emergency preparedness kit, first aid kit, food and non-perishables, emergency equipment such as generators or flashlights/batteries, water for drinking and cooking, and charge your mobile phone or laptop. Acquire a reliable source of weather information which can be a weather radio, cell phone alerts, radio or television.
If you do not have to be out in the weather conditions, avoid traveling. If you are on the road, be especially careful of bridges and areas that water is over the road. DO NOT attempt to drive your vehicle through water that is across a roadway, turn around or seek another route to your destination. Tornado watches may be issued for our area which means the weather conditions are favorable for tornado activity. If a tornado warning is issued that means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Tornado warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. Go immediately to a basement, storm cellar, or windowless interior room.
For more information regarding the storm locally, call the Coffee County EMA at 912-389-1705 or 912-384-5440. Additional resources for weather information include webpage: https://www.weather.gov/jax/, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NWSJacksonville, Twitter: /NWSJacksonville, or https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.
For all NON-EMERGENCY related issues such as power outages, downed power lines, water over the roadway or downed trees, please contact the Customer Care Center by dialing 3-1-1 or 912-384-3302. Please be mindful that if winds are in excess of 35 miles per hour, utility linemen cannot begin to repair broken lines until the wind is less due to safety issues.
For life threatening emergencies, call 9-1-1.