SOUTHWEST GA (WALB) - Hurricane Michael is expected to be a major hurricane as it makes landfall Wednesday evening.
Ahead of the storm, several locations in Southwest Georgia have announced the opening of shelters in the area for those who need a safe place to go during the storm.
As of right now, the following locations are opening as shelters:
Ben Hill County:
- Ben Hill County Elementary school gym: 328 Lobinger Ave. (229) 412-0081.
- Homerville Municipal Complex, 20 S College St.
- Arabi Baptist Church: 3930 1st Ave. (229) 417-0399, (opening at noon on Wednesday)
- Blackshear Trail: 1001 Blackshear Rd. (opening at noon on Wednesday)
- Cordele City Hall: 501 North 7th St. (229) 273- 3102, (opening at noon on Wednesday)
- Lake Blackshear Baptist Church, 650 S Coney Rd., (229) 273-4042.
- Albany Family Worship Center: 3024 Kensington Court. (229) 434-0342 (opening at 8 a.m. on Wednesday)
- Allows pets: Must have a kennel/crate
- Bethesda Baptist Church: 6411 Newton Road. (229) 483-1903 (opening at 8 a.m. on Wednesday)
- NewBirth Fellowship Church: 2106 Radium Springs Road
For those that need transportation to a shelter in Dougherty County, call the Dougherty County Emergency Management Agency at (229) 431-2155.
- Early Co. High School gymnasium
- First Baptist Church of Leesburg: 135 Main Street East. (229) 759-6576 (opening at 6 p.m. on Tuesday)
- Allows pets
- Philema Road Baptist Church: 114 Stocks Dairy Road. (229) 435-3135
- Park Avenue United Methodist Church in Valdosta: 100 E Park Avenue (will remain open until noon on Thursday)
- Old Stewart County High School, 7062 Green Grove Rd, Lumpkin. (Opened Wednesday)
- Cooper Carver Elementary: 455 Greenwave Drive. (229) 995-4444 (open as needed)
- First Baptist Church of Thomasville: 210 North Broad Street. (229) 228-6800 (opening at 4 p.m. on Tuesday)
- Friendship Baptist Church: 4050 Monroe Street. (229) 226-5696 (opening at 5 p.m. on Wednesday)
- Tift County Recreation Department at 401 Victory Drive.
- Allows service animals only
- Old elementary school in Preston: 40 Cemetery Road. (229) 938-7204) (Opening at 12 p.m. on Wednesday)
Worth County comfort stations:
- Sumner Headstart: Located at City Hall at 704 Walnut Street in Sumner (opening at 8 p.m. on Tuesday)
- Allows pets: Must bring a leash
- Warwick United Methodist Church: 199 Magnolia Street in Warwick. (229) 535-6558 (opening at 8 a.m. on Wednesday)
- Pine Forest Baptist Church: 601 Pine Forest Road in Ty Ty. (229) 776-3383 (opening at 8 a.m. on Wednesday)
- Greater New Birth Missionary Baptist Church: 210 East Street in Sylvester. (229) 777-8066 (opened on Tuesday)
- Worth County Community Center, 1310 North Monroe Street.
Red Cross shelters (for those who want to evacuate):
- Shirley Winston Recreation Center: 5025 Steam Mill Road, Columbus, GA 31907 (opening Tuesday at 5 p.m.)
- South Bibb Recreation Center: 7034 Houston Road, Macon, GA 31216 (opening on Tuesday at 4 p.m.)
Dougherty County is opening up the opportunity for individuals or groups to volunteer to assist with storm efforts.
Those interested can do so through the Community Organizations Active in Disaster.
Interested citizens can:
Contact the emergency operations center at (229) 483-6226 or at (229) 483-6227 and ask to speak with the volunteer coordinator.
The volunteer coordinator will take citizen information and forward to COAD for outreach on coordinating efforts with volunteers and volunteer group.
Anyone with a 4 wheeler or ATV and would be willing to let officials use them, please call (229) 483-6226.