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Dougherty Co. EMA monitors potential for severe weather

The main thing Dougherty County EMA has been looking for during Tuesday’s First Alert Weather...
The main thing Dougherty County EMA has been looking for during Tuesday’s First Alert Weather Day is the potential for tornadoes.(WALB)
Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 6:48 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - An agency working to help notify the public is the Dougherty County Emergency Management Agency (EMA). They work closely with the National Weather Service to help alert people of severe weather near them.

The main thing Dougherty County EMA has been looking for during Tuesday’s First Alert Weather Day is the potential for tornadoes.

 Lauren McGrath is the Dougherty County EMA specialist.
Lauren McGrath is the Dougherty County EMA specialist.(WALB)

EMA Specialist Lauren McGrath said tornadoes from tropical systems can spin up quickly.

This gives them a smaller window to be able to send out code red alerts.

However, they do their best to warn people of conditions that are favorable for tornadoes to allow them to get to a safe place.

“The National Weather Service will send out watches if conditions are favorable for a tornado. Which is nice because you get that kind of warning like okay, there could be a tornado that spins up here soon. We send out those notifications as well,” said McGrath.

Safe places to go during these warnings are in a room inside your home with no windows or doors that lead outside.

During this type of weather, EMA officials said to stay inside as much as possible, but if you do have to drive, try to stay near sturdy shelters.

They said it’s also important to stay updated on the latest weather conditions.

Dougherty County Public Works said they prepare for the worst when there is a potential for severe weather.

Chucky Mathis is the Dougherty County Public Works director.
Chucky Mathis is the Dougherty County Public Works director.(WALB)

Refueling their trucks, packing sandbags and having storm equipment like chainsaws ready are some of the things Director Chucky Mathis said they do before severe weather.

Mathis said when they prepare for severe weather, they expect the unexpected but hope for the best.

He said if you experience any flooding, you can call public works, but if it’s severe, call 911.

Refueling their trucks, packing sandbags and having storm equipment like chainsaws ready are...
Refueling their trucks, packing sandbags and having storm equipment like chainsaws ready are some of the things Director Chucky Mathis said they do before severe weather.(WALB)

Public works also takes care of any fallen trees or debris in the road. He said they do their best to find these trees but really depend on the public.

“We greatly depend on the public when trees go down in certain areas. The public has to come up on these things. We depend on them to give us a call so that we can respond to that incident,” said Mathis

They do a lot of clean up after severe weather passes through, but if conditions allow, they try to start cleaning up as soon as possible.

If you need sandbags or need to report fallen trees on roads, call Dougherty County Public Works at (229) 430-6120.

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