URGENT INFORMATION REGARDING THE APPROACH OF HURRICANE IRMA

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The City of Thomasville would like to inform our community of some final information that is important as we complete our preparations for Hurricane Irma’s arrival into the Thomasville area:

-During this morning’s National Weather Service weather briefing at the Emergency Operations Center, Thomas County Emergency Management announced they would be calling for a voluntary evacuation of all mobile homes in Thomas County.

--The Red Cross will open a shelter at New Covenant Church at 1 pm today. This will be the only Red Cross shelter in our community. Other organizations have opened ‘Good Samaritan’ shelters, including First Baptist Church. A list of other shelter sites can be found here.

-Because Thomas County has approximately 4,000 mobile homes, the impact upon existing shelters in our region could be significant. Area churches are asked to take steps now to house members of their congregation and additional citizens if necessary. Additional Good Samaritan shelter facilities are needed. First Baptist Church leaders have offered to guide area churches in the process of establishing shelter facilities. Please contact First Baptist Church for more information.

-Area citizens that remain in our community during the storm should understand that for the safety of our utility and public safety personnel, response vehicles will be pulled when winds reach 40-45 mph. This means that emergency calls to police and fire agencies will be unable to respond. Likewise, public works and utility crews will not be operational during sustained periods of high winds.

-Utility outages are anticipated to be widespread and of a long duration. Please be prepared with adequate food, water, medications, batteries and other items you and your family may need. You should be prepared for outages to last in upwards of one week.

-Use extreme caution if you encounter downed utility poles or electrical wires. Assume every wire is a live wire and do not approach or handle. Wires, poles and trees may remain downed for some time after the storm passes, as we expect the impact to be significant and response time will be affected.

-Use safety precautions when using generators, candles, or lanterns with a flame during outages. Generator users must be sure they have disconnected the main breaker, as this can be dangerous for utility linemen.

-Report all power outages, including those involving CNS services, to our Outage Reporting Line – 227-5499. Please do not report outages through our website or social media.

“We’ve been advised by the National Weather Service that this storm is unlike what we’ve experienced in our area,” said Steve Sykes, City Manager/Utilities Superintendent. “This is the final opportunity for our community to make sure they are adequately prepared for Hurricane Irma.”

City of Thomasville administrative offices will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, September 11-12, 2017. Services will resume as soon as possible.

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