BELOW: Watches & warnings / 8:30 p.m. detailed weather update / Georgia Power’s plan
The most intense weather is expected after 2 p.m. Monday — high winds, heavy rain, storm conditions. Authorities continue to urge residents to stay at home on Monday unless travel is essential.
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
Tropical Storm Warning for Floyd, Bartow, Gordon, Polk, Chattooga counties: This means tropical storm wind conditions are
expected somewhere within this area and within the next 36 hours
Winds: Equivalent Tropical Storm force wind; peak Wind Forecast: 30-40 mph with gusts to 55 mph
Potential damage: Limited.
- Damage to porches, awnings, carports, sheds, and unanchored mobile homes. Unsecured lightweight objects blown about.
Many large tree limbs broken off. A few trees snapped or uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees
are shallow rooted. Some fences and roadway signs blown over.
- A few roads impassable from debris, particularly within urban or heavily wooded places. Hazardous driving
conditions on bridges and other elevated roadways.
- Scattered power and communications outages.
Flash flood watch for Northwest Georgia, Monday morning through Tuesday morning: Heavy rains from Irma will spread over north and central Georgia beginning later Sunday night and Monday morning and continuing through Monday night. Rainfall amounts of 3 to 7 inches are possible with isolated higher amounts, especially in the higher terrain of the mountains. These rainfall amounts will likely
lead to flash flooding. A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation.
Be prepared with this advice from Floyd County 911: “Be prepared for the upcoming weather event. We are expecting 30 mph winds with gusts to 50, heavy rain and potential tornadoes. Fill your prescriptions and know who to call. Have food and water available. Have adequate supplies and shelter for your pets.
Flooding and trees/lines down are what we expect. Do not call 911 for power outages unless it is life threatening. We are unable to call Georgia Power or cable companies to report routine outages for you. Georgia Power to report outages —- 1-888-891-0938; en espanol – 1-800-253-1077. You can also report and check outages atwww.georgiapower.com . If you are staying with friends/family, please write down the address in case you have to call 911.
Governor: State of emergency now covers all 159 counties; state government closes Monday and Tuesday: Acting on a recommendation from the state’s Emergency Operations Command and ahead of heavy rains, strong wind and potential flooding from Hurricane Irma, Gov. Nathan Deal today expanded the emergency declaration to include an additional 65 counties. The state of emergency now includes all 159 counties in Georgia. State government will be closed Monday and Tuesday for all employees except essential personnel. Following a briefing from officials and visit with emergency responders, Deal will hold a media avail tonight at the State Operations Center at 6 p.m. To read the executive order, see attached or click here.
From Georgia Power on what to expect and do: As Hurricane Irma approaches Georgia, Georgia Power is prepared to respond with approximately 3,400 personnel from the company, other Southern Co. operating companies and assisting utilities identified and ready to restore power as quickly and safely as possible following the storm. All of Georgia Power’s resources are being held and dedicated to storm restoration efforts in the state following Hurricane Irma.
Georgia Power expects widespread, extensive damage due to high winds, heavy rain and fallen trees as a result of Hurricane Irma and customers are encouraged to prepare now. Once the storm leaves affected areas, the company must wait until conditions are safe for damage assessment teams to enter the field and begin the restoration process, followed by repair crews, which could take several days, if not weeks, depending on the amount of damage and safe access to the area. As weather conditions improve, restoration efforts will accelerate, but it could take an extended period of time for all customers to be restored.
When severe weather strikes, Georgia Power has access to additional resources available as part of the Southern Company system, which includes multiple electric and gas companies serving more than 9 million customers nationwide. Additionally, Georgia Power is part of a national mutual assistance network consisting of dozens of utilities from around the country, and the company is able to tap into reinforcements when needed to restore power to Georgia customers following a storm. While the company has contacted and requested aid through the mutual assistance network, resources have been assigned to harder-hit areas in Florida first before travelling to Georgia.
To help its employees focus on safely restoring power for customers and relieve concerns about their own families, Georgia Power has also activated its Family Services volunteers, who are preparing to deploy to areas impacted by Hurricane Irma in anticipation of employee assistance requests. Family Services is supported by employee volunteers who are not involved with storm restoration.
Prepare Before the Storm
The company also urges customers to complete their preparations before the weather deteriorates. Tips from Georgia Power to prepare before the storm:
- Note the location of power lines and poles. This makes it easier to know where downed power lines may be possible following the storm. Also, ensure that curbsides and yards are clear to allow quick repair and restoration following the storm.
- Protect electronics and appliances. Turn off air conditioners since power surges can overload them, unplug all electronics such as DVD players, televisions and computers, and move any appliances or electronics that may be located in flood-prone areas of your home.
- Secure any outdoor items that could be moved by high winds and cause damage. Move patio furniture inside where possible.
- Charge all necessary electronics, including cell phones and tablets, so you can stay connected even if the power is out. Know how to adjust the settings on mobile devices to maximize battery life and use power banks if available.
- Build or check your emergency supply kit. Consider providing an additional emergency supply kit for elderly family members or friends who may not have one.
Tools You Can Use
- Outage Alerts – Subscribe to the free Georgia Power Outage Alert service to receive personalized notifications and updates via text message.
- Outage & Storm Center – Available at www.georgiapower.com/storm, customers can visit this site to sign up for Outage Alerts, report and check the status of outages, and access useful safety tips and information. Customers can report and check the status of an outage 24 hours a day by contacting Georgia Power at 888-891-0938.
- Outage Map – Housed within the Outage & Storm Center, Georgia Power’s interactive Outage Map provides near real-time information, allowing users to see where outages are occurring across the state and track estimated restoration times.
- Georgia Power Mobile App – Download the Georgia Power mobile app for Apple and Android devices to access storm and outage information on the go.
- @GeorgiaPower on Twitter – Follow @GeorgiaPower on Twitter for storm tips, outage updates, customer service and more.
Georgia Power Power Plants
Georgia Power’s electric generating plants are also prepared for Hurricane Irma. Power plants, including coal, natural gas and nuclear plants, are built to be robust and highly secure and incorporate multiple layers of protection including structural strength, highly trained operators and security forces, and proven emergency plans. Safety systems at U.S. nuclear plants, including Georgia’s Plants Vogtle and Hatch, are designed to withstand significant hazard events, including hurricane force winds and flooding. Read more here.
MORE ON IRMA
Updates from the National Hurricane Center. The latest
Category four storm slams the Florida Keys. CNN
Tonight: A 10 percent chance of showers after 5am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 58. East wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
Monday: Tropical storm conditions possible. A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers and possibly a thunderstorm after 10am. High near 69. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.
Monday Night: Tropical storm conditions expected. Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. Low around 60. Chance of precipitation is 100%.
Tuesday: Showers. High near 67. Windy, with a south wind 20 to 25 mph decreasing to 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
Tuesday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 57.