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Crisp County Emergency Management plans for advancing storm

By Neil B. McGahee

Crisp County Sheriff Billy Hancock presented plans to alleviate damage in advance of Hurricane Sally, a Category 2 storm currently located in the Florida Panhandle and Northeast Alabama.

Representative of the Crisp County Sheriff’s Department, Cordele Police, Georgia State Patrol, Crisp and Cordele fire departments, Cordele City Commission and Crisp County Commission, all Crisp and Cordele utilities, Crisp County Schools, Crisp Academy and Homeland Security gathered at the emergency communications center to hear Hancock’s prognostication of future weather events associated with the storm.

“Sally made landfall last night near Gulf Shores, Alabama as a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 105 miles per hour,” Hancock said. “The serious problem with Sally is it is moving very slowly and that slow movement is producing a lot of rain. Some areas of Florida have received 18 to 24 inches of rain. The path of that storm is going to determine what happens in our community. If it turns more east, then it is going to bring that amount of water toward us.”

Even as the storm dissipates, Hancock said this area could receive as much as 3 to 10 inches of rain.

“Citizens can help by removing debris from storm drains so the rainwater doesn’t back up.” Hancock said. “That is one of our biggest headaches. The debris backs up and the water wont drain. If they would leave the debris on their grass instead of the street, then it wouldn’t wash into the storm drains.”

Hancock urged citizens to stay aware of the storm’s progress.

“The biggest problems associate with this storm is flash flooding and tornados,” he said. “In case of flash flooding, you can’t tell how deep the water is so don’t drive through it. Remember when we say ‘turn around, don’t drown,’ we mean it. You can’t tell how deep water is or whether it has washed a roadbed out. If you do try to go through a flooded area it potentially puts you and our rescue personnel in danger.”

Hancock recommended citizens check for alerts from the National Weather Service or the Crisp County Sheriff’s Department web page.