Douglas County is bracing for Irma and should start feelings its effects tonight according to the 8:30 PM update supplied by the Douglas County Communications and Community Relations Department. Here is the update:
HURRICANE IRMA UPDATE #5 - 8:30 p.m., Sunday, September 10th
Douglas County Communications & Community Relations and Douglas County Emergency Management
Here is the latest information about Hurricane Irma we received from the National Weather Service at its 8:30 p.m. briefing for emergency management teams across the State.
- The size of Irma’s hurricane wind field extends 100 miles wide (130 - 156 mph winds). The tropical storm wind field is 360 miles wide (39 - 73 mph winds). This is a HUGE storm.
- The forecast track of Irma:
o Once Irma comes into Georgia, it is predicted to start bending northwestward, and is predicted to follow a track from Albany to Americus to Auburn to Birmingham. Irma most likely will be a tropical storm by the time it gets to Albany (73 mph winds).
o The eye of the storm is now predicted to go farther south from Douglas County than forecast last night. Regardless, we will experience high winds, rain, and possibly tornadoes.
o Rain bands are already extending as far north as Henry County just south of Atlanta.
o Douglas County is currently under a Tropical Storm Warning.
- Douglas County should start feeling the winds overnight Sunday night.
o Rain from the storm will begin overnight with sustained winds about 20 mph.
o On Monday morning, the rain will be fairly common with the sustained winds of about 20- 30 mph.
o Mid-Monday the bands have stronger gusts and will be more constant. The wind gusts will increase to about 40 mph.
o Late Monday afternoon, the rain will be constant with numerous bands. Sustained winds could be about 40 mph with wind gusts about 50 mph.
o On Monday night, the rain will increase and wind gusts will be about 55 - 65 mph. Sustained winds could be about 40 mph.
o On Tuesday morning, we can expect more rain and wind gusts of 30 - 40 mph as the storm moves out, decreasing over time.
o The storm should exit our area some time on Tuesday afternoon.
- Douglas County can expect 5 - 7 inches of rain, although some of the rain bands may produce heavier amounts.
- Douglas County is under a Flash Flood Watch from 8 a.m. Monday - 8 a.m. Tuesday due to the anticipated heavy rains.
- There is a risk of tornadoes developing with this storm.
- The biggest impacts from Irma in Douglas County most likely will be widespread downed trees & powerlines, high winds, and the possibilities of tornadoes. Please remember that downed powerlines are STILL ENERGIZED and people should stay away from them.
- Power outages can be reported to Georgia Power to www.GeorgiaPower.com/stormor by phone to 888.891.0938. If customers have a concern about electrical wires entering their homes or business, they should call 888.660.5890.
- Power outages can be reported to GreyStone Power by phone to 866.473.9786 or 770.942.6576.
- The Douglas County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will open at 7 a.m., Monday, September 10th, to coordinate all responses to the storm.
- Douglasville 1stUnited Methodist Church’s Youth Activities Center will be open Monday for persons who wish to shelter in a structural building, as opposed to a mobile home or outdoors.
- THE DOUGLAS COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM WILL BE CLOSED MONDAY - TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11TH- 12TH FOR ALL STUDENTS AND STAFF, INCLUDING 240-DAY EMPLOYEES.
- The Douglas County Courthouse will be closed Monday. Douglas County Courts will be closed Monday and Tuesday. A decision concerning whether or not the Courthouse will be open/closed on Tuesday will be made on Monday.