Hurricane season right around the corner - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Hurricane season right around the corner

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Lee County-- Last fall, Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne all swept through the south.

"We had a tremendous amount of rainfall in a short amount of time, had some high winds," says Lee County EMA Director Joe Pollock. High winds here in south Georgia downed trees and power lines and the storms caused millions of dollars in damage.

Thousands of Florida evacuees ended up here, some more than once. "We had a few people that came in and of course we have some shelters that are available in Lee County," says Pollock. Officials say this hurricane season may be just as bad and citizens and officials shouldn't repeat last year's mistakes.

"At the last minute, everybody tries to leave and they don't have time, they don't have supplies or fuel or the roadways are blocked," says Pollock. Plans are in place to alert the public quickly and educate people to heed to those early warnings. Also, the state's emergency operations plan was recently updated.

Pollock says, "It spells out exactly who's on call, who do you call second, which shelter opens first, the shelter workers and all that." This will prevent any uncertainty as to what to do in the event of an emergency. Officials from different counties will also continue working together to uphold the statewide emergency plan.

"I think that South Georgia is as prepared as anybody in the state is and you cant always be prepared for mother nature," says Pollock. But emergency officials are prepared with a plan.

Area emergency managers will meet Thursday in Cordele to discuss plans for the upcoming hurricane season.

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