COMMUNITY URGED TO PREPARE FOR TROPICAL STORM HERMINE

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THOMASVILLE, GA – September 1, 2016 – The National Weather Service has predicted that Tropical Storm Hermine will move through Thomasville and is expected to bring thunderstorms to our region, beginning late Thursday and continuing into the overnight hours into Friday morning. TS Hermine will bring heavy rains, damaging winds, and potential flooding, hail, and/or tornadoes. The City of Thomasville is actively monitoring the situation and regularly communicating with the Thomas County EMA Director Chris Jones. Because of the anticipated track of the storm system, the City is activating its storm plans in all City departments in order to best prepare for the impending weather.

“City crews are prepared for weather events throughout the year,” said Marketing Director Sheryl Sealy. “Every department has protocols to following in preparing for significant weather such as tropical storms and hurricanes. Public Works, Fire Rescue, Police, Utility Operations – each department is monitoring the weather situation carefully and preparing equipment, vehicles and personnel according to established response plans.”

Some of the preparations City of Thomasville staff are addressing in advance of the storm include:

  • Clearing out trouble spots in the collection system to ensure the system runs effectively with the anticipated higher water flows;
  • Ensuring adequate personnel are on standby, and additional personnel are assigned to key city facilities—such as the Wastewater Treatment Plant, Fire Rescue, Electric Operations, Public Works, etc.—to respond quickly during the night;
  • Cleaning out catch basins, road culverts, and storm pipes of leaves and debris to ensure water flows properly throughout the city stormwater system; and
  • Ensuring all necessary small equipment—chainsaws, weed eaters, etc.—generators and vehicles are inspected and fueled, and all handheld radios, cell phones, and other electric devices are fully charged.

While the storm may exit our area Friday morning, the damage left in its wake could be widespread and extensive. For this reason, citizens are urged to prepare now.

“Citizens should be prepared for an extended period of time without power. While electric crews will work to bring customers back on as quickly as possible, this event is anticipated to cause widespread outages and could last for several days,” said Sealy. “The time is now to make sure you have adequate food, water, batteries, and fuel for vehicles.”

In addition to this, citizens can also prepare as follows:

  • Assess your property and be sure yard furniture, trash bins, yard toys and equipment are secured or put away.
  • Bring in pets.
  • Be sure there is no other debris on your property that can float or be blown away, as these things can block the storm drains and prevent the flow of water through our community.
  • Obtain a working NOAA Weather Radio.

When the storm arrives, citizens are advised to stay off the streets and roadways.

“For your safety and the safety of others, please stay home and do not travel,” said Sealy. “In heavy winds, vehicles have the potential of being pushed into oncoming traffic or off the road, and flying debris and falling trees may also pose a direct threat to vehicles and passengers.”

Citizens should also avoid any downed trees and power lines. “Should they encounter any fallen trees or power lines, please call our Energy Control Center at 227-5499,” said Sealy.

Citizens should also keep the following city department numbers handy:

  • Outage Hotline – 229-227-5499
  • Public Works & Other City Services – 229-227-7001
  • After Hours – 229-227-5499
  • All Emergencies—911

The City of Thomasville will monitor the conditions throughout the night and will post updates to Facebook. “To stay up-to-date, follow the City of Thomasville (www.facebook.com/cityofthomasville). Updates will also be posted on Thomasville.org.”

Citizens should continue to monitor the latest forecast and local emergency management information through the following websites:

National Hurricane Center, www.nhc.noaa.gov

National Weather Service Tallahassee, http://www.srh.noaa.gov/tlh