September 13, 2004
Dougherty Co. -- Hurricane Ivan could strike along the Gulf Coast Wednesday, bringing 50 to 80 mile per hour winds to South Georgia, so people in mobile homes are being warned to seek shelter if the storm comes our way.
Ivan is a powerful category five hurricane packing winds of 160 miles per hour. People in the Florida panhandle are preparing for the storm. The storm is off the western coast of Cuba. It is expected to move north through the gulf, and make landfall near the Florida Alabama state line Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.
People who live in mobile homes in Dougherty County are being warned to find other shelter in case Hurricane Ivan comes to South Georgia.
Dougherty County and Albany Police are going door to door to warn all mobile home residents that their homes are not safe in Hurricane force winds.
Police intend to knock on every mobile home door in the county. "We're going door to door to advise everyone in the trailer park of the Hurricane that's coming," said Dougherty Co. Police Officer Edward Weeks.
Worried that Hurricane Force winds will tear mobile homes apart, residents are being warned to seek other shelter. "I'm passing out some flyers here that may help you with this storm we've got coming in. Ideas you might want to think about doing. I'm going to leave town. You're going to leave town," Weeks said.
This is not a forced evacuation, just a warning to be prepared. "We're not telling you have to evacuate now, but you may want to think about that as you monitor the weather," said Officer Rick Black of the Dougherty Co. Police.
One big problem for the Officers going door to door, warning the Hispanic people that do not speak English. "You understand a little English? These are some little things that you can check with your home, to make sure that it's as secure as can be."
The flyer they are handing out is in both Spanish and English, but there are still worries. The people are being told to watch the local news to keep up with the storm track, and to let them know where shelters will be set up if needed.
Many of the residents are listening. Mobile home resident Tony Chatman said, "That's right. You want to be safe than sorry."
Officers hope to pass that message to everyone living in a mobile home in Dougherty County by Tuesday night.
There are more than 1,300 mobile homes in 25 trailer parks in Dougherty County. Police started at those homes, and then will move on to individual mobile homes.
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