Public Works prep for tropical storm - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Public Works prep for tropical storm

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By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

August 21, 2008

DOUGHERTY COUNTY, GA (WALB) - Depending on just what Fay throws at us, it could be a very busy weekend for public works crews throughout south Georgia.

They've already been busy this week trying to head off as much damage as possible.

The Dougherty County Public works is set and ready to go, putting into action lessons they learned from past storms.

"We've learned the areas we need to cover, areas we need to pre-storm, go out and clean those areas as far as major ditches, and we try to make sure those things are functioning prior to the storm getting here," said Larry Cook, Dougherty Co. Public Works Director.

Cleaning Drainage ditches and cleaning the road of debris.

If tropical storm Fay brings flooding to Dougherty County, public works will have sand bags at the ready.

"We just re-stocked our sand bags in case we need it, or any one of the citizens need it they can just call us at the office, and we'll be glad to help them with that on an individual basis," said Cook.

Cook says communication now is much better than in the past, enabling them to contact emergency management officials when needed.

"Overall we're doing a number of things to help increase our ability to communicate within the community, we have a system within the 911 Center, Motorbridge, we've gone to 800 Megahertz radio system, there's a number of things that have upgraded," said Jim Vaught, Deputy EMA Director.

Deputy EMA Director Jim Vaught sends e-mails with updates on the storm to Dougherty County school system and a number of other agencies in and around Albany.

"We've experienced hurricanes and a variety of weather events. We look at those and see what looks good, and what we did that we need to improve on and just try to do better next time, so we try to provide better service to our community," said Vaught.

Both emergency management and county officials seem prepared for whatever this storm may bring.

"With the uncertainty of Fay and some of the winds that may or may not come in, we feel pretty confident that we can handle anything that comes along," said Cook.

Now, they can only wait to see what comes along.

This year Dougherty County established Code Red.

It's a high-speed communication service that will notify you about weather emergencies by telephone.

If you want to sign up, go to the news page and click on the Code Red icon.

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