Updated Tuesday afternoon -- With More Severe Weather Predicted, GEMA Urges Preparedness
With another round of severe storms expected to enter Georgia this evening and overnight, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security (GEMA) urges Georgians to continue to stay weather-aware and prepare.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), the primary threats for this system include damaging winds, flooding, hail and even an isolated tornado.
Georgians should stay informed about tonight's round of severe storms by monitoring their local media for the latest forecast.
Also, be sure to have several ways to receive weather alerts, including a NOAA Weather Radio. NOAA Weather Radio is a nationwide network of radio stations dedicated to broadcasting continuous weather information directly from a nearby NWS office. It is the best way to hear watches and warnings from NWS, even if they are issued in the middle of the night. They can be purchased at most big-box retailers, electronics stores, even grocery stores. Prices vary from $30 up, depending on the model.
Visit GEMA’s Ready Georgia website to find information needed to create a disaster supply kit, develop a tailored communications plan and stay informed about the potential threats associated with this system. In addition, families can access children’s games and activities, while households with pets or elderly or disabled family members will find specific information on preparing for severe weather.
For preparedness on the go, download Ready Georgia’s free mobile app, which turns your iPhone or Android smartphone into an invaluable tool by providing mobile access to weather alerts, preparedness information, and even local shelter locations in the wake of a disaster.
To date, this system has produced an EF-2 tornado, which cut a 4-mile path through Troup and Heard counties. In addition, one person died as a result of a single-car accident where weather was a factor.
The state operations center remains open with personnel from various state and volunteer agencies coordinating the state's response to requests for assistance from local governments on a 24-hour basis.
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security (GEMA) is the lead state agency for coordination of emergency and disaster response activities. For more information on GEMA, visit www.gema.ga.gov. To learn how to prepare for disaster and create a custom kit and plan, visit www.ready.ga.gov or download the free Ready Georgia app. For specific risks in your community, contact your local emergency management agency.
UPDATED Tuesday A.M. -- From Pickens County Emergency Operations -- No reports of any kind of damage were reported in last night's storms. There is the possibility of additional storms throughout the day, but nothing projected to be as severe as what was feared with initial round.
There are some concerns about flooding with massive rainfalls totals still expected later today and into tomorrow.
Original Story -- With a massive storm creating havoc across the states to the west of Georgia, Pickens emergency operation officials conducted a preparation meeting this afternoon and are asking residents to stay alert to weather forecasts, particularly as they go to bed this evening.
Pickens Information Officer Norman Pope said the slow moving but destructive storm is projected to hit this area some time after 4 a.m. but, as with any weather pattern, that could change between now and the middle of the night.
“Make sure you check your local forecast before going to bed,” Pope said. “We don’t want to be caught by surprise. Be aware that the squall line is heading this way.”
Pope said during the telephone briefing with county emergency operation personnel across the state and with weather experts, the discussion focused on the damaging storms and their slow path across the region. Pope noted today is three years after a series of tornadoes hit west Pickens destroying several homes and did extensive damage in Ringgold.
Pope said the weather experts talked a lot about the stagnant air and how this storm moves slowly. Once it reaches North Georgia, it may remain here from early Tuesday into Wednesday – based on current models.
Pope said this is considered a storm capable of “destroying property and endangering lives.” The storm has thus far shown itself as a full combination of heavy rains, thunderstorms and tornadoes.
At this point, the county will continue monitoring the weather forecasts and reacting as they see how it develops.
Pope urged everyone to take general precautions of finding a secure basement or shelter to move quickly into. He said following local radio and television weather forecast is crucial. And he urged anyone to sign up with the Code Red emergency phone alerts. You can sign up at 706-253-8911 or at pickenscounty.gov.