Albany-Dougherty EMA prepare for Fay - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany-Dougherty EMA prepare for Fay

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

August 18, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - South Georgia is preparing for Tropical Storm Fay.

As the storm churns toward Florida, at least 25,000 people have evacuated. The storm is expected to dump heavy rain on South Georgia and emergency workers are preparing. Emergency Management officials here in southwest Georgia don't expect to see hurricane force winds, but they say the storm could bring down power lines and power outages and could affect how they clear rainwater from low lying areas across the county.

In advance of the storm, Albany Public Works crews started pumping storm drains the minute Fay threatened southwest Georgia.

"We lower all of the storm ponds, we make sure that the conveyance system is clean and we do everything in our power to make sure that we're ready for the storm," said Phil Roberson, Public Works Director.

That means sweeping streets clear of debris. In the county, drainage ditches are also getting a good cleaning and holding ponds are being drained in case Fay dumps an unusually high amount of rain over a short period of time.

"If we get more than a couple inches an hour we start having a lot of localized flooding in low lying areas," said Roberson. Deputy EMA Director Jim Vaught is watching their Hurrevac program closely, monitoring just how strong the winds might be in Dougherty County.

"By the time it crosses over into the border of Georgia Thursday morning you can see the winds have died down to about 39 miles per hour and it appears more of an east coast event," said Vaught.

Right now, the concern is over what type of power outages Fay might cause and how that might affect flooding if pumping stations are down due to a lack of power.

"Anytime we have a hard rain with some winds we have the old oak trees here that hang over the power lines and there is that possibility that the power could be down for some time," said Vaught.

EMA Director Jim Vaught wanted us to remind you if you haven't signed up for the Code Red storm alert system in Albany and Dougherty County you should do it now.

It will alert you to any severe weather conditions Fay might bring. It only takes a few minutes and you can do that at www.albany.ga.us.

Emergency Management Officials say this is also a good time to make sure your storm kit is stocked with water, batteries, and extra prescription medications you may need.

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