South Georgians warned to prepare for Ivan - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgians warned to prepare for Ivan

September 13, 2004

Albany -- South Georgia emergency officials are preparing for the strong winds and heavy rain Hurricane Ivan is expecting to bring this way.

Public works crews in Albany took the day to clear away debris from drainage basins.

Preparations for Frances kept street flooding to a minimum but Hurricane Ivan brings new fears.

"The way Ivan is tracking we could possibly have the hurricane come directly over us, so we could have some heavy rains. We want to have our storm systems as clean as we can," says Ann Shepherd of the Albany Sewer Systems.

By late Tuesday, Ivan could bring 80 to 90 mile per hour winds and 7 to 9 inches of rains into Dougherty County.

But while the city isn't underestimating the hurricane, many South Georgian are.

"I don't anticipate it being any worse than the last, I really don't," says one resident.

But officials say that's the wrong attitude.

"If everything stays the same we are looking at a mid category one hurricane," says  James Carswell, Chief of the Albany Fire Department

Emergency officials say if Hurricane Ivan does come with 80 mph winds, mobile homes will  be the most at risk. Many of those homes are not built to withstand that type of force.

GEMA is advising South Georgians to stock up on emergency supplies and prepare a Hurricane plan before Monday.

Emergency officials say families should prepare a disaster kit and evacuation plans.

posted at 7:25PM by scott.hunter@walb.com