Tropics I WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Valdosta, Georgia- August 27, 2012

The Lowndes County 911 center gets roughly 700 calls every day. During bad weather, such as Tropical Storm Isaac, that call volume can double. So when is appropriate to call 911?

Lowndes County 911 Center's Director, Danny Weeks, said "It's always a difficult question because to the person that's making the call it may really be an emergency although it may be routine to the ones at the 911 center. If you feel threatened, if have something that you feel is a safety issue by all means call. That's what we're there for."

They're not there for weather updates. Which the county says accounts for a number of 911 calls. In the last few days, Tropical Storm Isaac has shifted West, but that doesn't mean citizens can't be ready.

Lowndes County Clerk Paige Dukes said "what we want to stress is that regardless of the forecast you need to be prepared. You can go to www.ready.ga.gov and there are plenty of checklists there for your home or business. There's an opportunity there for kids to do their own emergency plan. Sign up for Code Red."

Code Red is a free alert system that began in 2007 and will text as well as call citizens with any weather emergencies in their area.

To download Code Red for free go to this website:

https://cne.coderedweb.com/Default.aspx?
groupid=tiYeE6SBQh6aepvHhM1kTA%3D%3D
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Lowndes County, Georgia- August 27, 2012

At 1:00 p.m. today, Lowndes County Emergency Management held a briefing to provide local responders with information related to the impact Tropical Storm Isaac could have on Lowndes County. According to the Tallahassee Division of the National Weather Service, 4-6 inches of rain could fall throughout the county over the next two to three days. While the path of the storm continues to shift to the west, taking Lowndes County out of the threatening areas indicated in earlier reports, citizens should continue to plan for inclement weather.

Due to recent rains, parts of the county and the cities of Valdosta, Hahira, Remerton, Lake Park and Dasher remain wet. Over the last week, E 9-1-1 has experienced a higher number of calls reporting fallen trees than usual. This being the case, additional rain and light to moderate winds, may cause additional trees to fall. Falling trees have the potential to impact power lines which may result in temporary power outages. Residents are encouraged to be prepared for brief periods of power outages, as rain and wind moves through the area.

Please remain aware of your surroundings at all times. In the event emergency information needs to be disseminated quickly, emergency management is prepared to use CodeRed. To sign up for Lowndes County’s free, emergency notification system, citizens may visit www.lowndescounty.com and click on the CodeRed icon. In addition, please stay tuned to local media outlets, additional information will be released as it becomes available.

While current forecasts do not indicate that flooding will be an issue, area rivers could rise quickly as rain begins to fall. Historically, flooding does not affect local roads and/or residences until water levels reach approximately 17 feet; as of now the Withlacoochee River is at just less than 7 feet. Citizens should be prepared for rapidly changing conditions, if the rain forecast for Lowndes County increases or if areas north of the county begin to receive significant amounts of rain. Lowndes County Emergency Management will continue to monitor conditions. Residents in and around the 100 year flood plain, should pay close attention to rising water levels. Citizens may monitor river levels by accessing real time stream gauge information at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=tae.

Traditionally, tropical storm wind and rain moves through in bands of activity. This being the case, heavy rain and wind is usually followed by a brief period of calm. Please do not risk traveling roads, streets and bridges if you do not have to. Traffic accidents can be avoided by staying off wet roads. Motorists that must travel after dark should be aware that storm debris, downed power lines and trees can be difficult to see. Please proceed with caution and only in the event that travel cannot be avoided. To report downed power lines or other debris on roadways, please dial 911.

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Additional preparedness information may be found by visiting, www.ready.ga.gov. For more information, please contact Lowndes County Public Information Officer, Paige Dukes, 229-292-6142 or pdukes@lowndescounty.com


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