A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for our area

The Chatham Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) is closely monitoring Hurricane Michael. Coordination of response efforts with local, regional and state agencies continue. Chatham County will likely be impacted by tropical storm conditions Wednesday into Thursday.

Chatham County is currently under a Tropical Storm Watch. Chatham County residents, business owners and visitors should expect tropical storm force winds, 3-5 inches of rain, isolated tornados, coastal flooding, possible flash flooding and RIP currents. Residents should stay tuned to local radio and/or television for current weather information.

CEMA continues to work with the Command Policy Group (which is comprised of elected officials, County/Municipality leaders) and surrounding emergency management agency (EMA) directors to make decisions about the response to the storm.

CEMA is encouraging residents to finalize their preparedness efforts. Some activities may include:

  • Secure loose or lightweight items outside your house or business.
  • · Filling prescription medications, stocking up on oxygen and other medical supplies needed for 3-5 days.
  • · Prepare for potential prolonged power outages; gather non-perishable food items and charge your cell phone and any additional back-up batteries.

**TROPICAL STORM WATCHES POSTED FOR SOUTHEAST SOUTH CAROLINA AND SOUTHEAST GEORGIA**

 NEW INFORMATION --------------- * CHANGES TO WATCHES AND WARNINGS: - 

A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for Allendale, Beaufort, Bulloch, Candler, Charleston, Coastal Bryan, Coastal Chatham, Coastal Colleton, Coastal Jasper, Coastal Liberty, Coastal McIntosh, Dorchester, Effingham, Evans, Hampton, Inland Berkeley, Inland Bryan, Inland Chatham, Inland Colleton, Inland Jasper, Inland Liberty, Inland McIntosh, Jenkins, Long, Screven, Tattnall, and Tidal Berkeley 

STORM INFORMATION: - About 700 miles south-southwest of Charleston SC or about 620 miles south-southwest of Savannah GA - 24.1N 85.9W - Storm Intensity 90 mph - Movement North-northwest or 345 degrees at 12 mph SITUATION OVERVIEW ------------------

 Hurricane Michael is expected to move northeast through Georgia and South Carolina Wednesday through Thursday while weakening to a tropical storm. The main hazards across southeast South Carolina and southeast Georgia will be tropical storm force winds, coastal flooding and dangerous surf conditions. However, heavy rainfall could cause localized flash flooding, especially in low-lying coastal areas around times of high tide. In addition, isolated tornadoes will be possible. The main impacts will likely be downed trees and powerlines. 

POTENTIAL IMPACTS ----------------- * WIND: Prepare for dangerous wind having possible significant impacts across southeast South Carolina and southeast Georgia. Potential impacts include: - Some damage to roofing and siding materials, along with damage to porches, awnings, carports, and sheds. A few buildings experiencing window, door, and garage door failures. Mobile homes damaged, especially if unanchored. Unsecured lightweight objects become dangerous projectiles. - Several large trees snapped or uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees are shallow rooted. - Some roads impassable from large debris, and more within urban or heavily wooded places. A few bridges and access routes impassable. - Travel by vehicle or on foot increasingly difficult. Danger of death or injury from falling objects such as trees or electric wires outside. - Scattered power and communications outages, but more prevalent in areas with above ground lines, which could persist for hours or days. - Some poorly secured small craft could break loose from their moorings. * 

FLOODING RAIN: Prepare for locally hazardous rainfall flooding having possible limited impacts across southeast South Carolina and southeast Georgia. Potential impacts include: - Localized rainfall flooding could prompt a few rescues. - Rivers and tributaries could quickly rise with swifter currents. Small streams, creeks, canals, and ditches could become swollen and overflow in spots. - Flood waters can enter a few structures, especially in normally vulnerable spots. Rapid ponding of water could occur at underpasses, low-lying spots, and poor drainage areas. Several storm drains and retention ponds become near-full and begin to overflow. Some brief road and bridge closures. *

 OTHER COASTAL HAZARDS: Life-threatening rough surf and rip currents are expected along the area beaches. Some beach erosion expected. *

 SURGE: Prepare for locally hazardous surge having possible limited impacts across low-lying tidal areas of southeast South Carolina and southeast Georgia. Potential impacts in this area include: - Localized inundation of saltwater mainly along immediate shorelines and in low-lying spots farther inland near rivers and creeks. - Sections of near-shore roads and parking lots become overspread with surge water. Driving conditions hazardous in places where surge water covers the road. - Minor to moderate beach erosion. Heavy surf possibly breaching dunes, mainly in normally vulnerable locations. Strong rip currents. - Minor to locally moderate damage to marinas, docks, boardwalks, and piers. A few small craft broken away from moorings. Elsewhere across southeast South Carolina and southeast Georgia, little to no impact is anticipated. * 

TORNADOES: Prepare for a tornado event having possible limited impacts across southeast South Carolina and southeast Georgia. Potential impacts include: - Isolated tornadoes can hinder the execution of emergency plans. - Isolated locations could experience tornado damage, along with power and communications disruptions. - In isolated locations, tornadoes could damage trees, vehicles, boats and buildings, especially mobile homes and other poorly constructed structures. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS ---------------------------------- *

 OTHER PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION: Now is the time to check your emergency plan and emergency supplies kit and take necessary actions to protect your family and secure your home or business. When making safety and preparedness decisions, do not focus on the exact forecast track since hazards such as flooding rain, damaging wind gusts, storm surge, and tornadoes extend well away from the center of the storm. If in a place that is vulnerable to high wind, such as near large trees, a manufactured home, upper floors of a high-rise building, or on a boat, plan to move to safe shelter. If you live in a place particularly vulnerable to flooding, such as near the ocean or a large inland lake, in a low-lying or poor drainage area, in a valley, or near an already swollen river, plan to move to safe shelter on higher ground. There is a threat from tornadoes with this storm. Have multiple ways to receive Tornado Warnings. Be ready to shelter quickly. Closely monitor weather.gov, NOAA Weather Radio and local news outlets for official storm information. Listen for possible changes to the forecast. * 

ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION: - For information on appropriate preparations see ready.gov - For information on creating an emergency plan see getagameplan.org - For additional disaster preparedness information see redcross.org NEXT UPDATE ----------- The next local statement will be issued by the National Weather Service in Charleston SC around 12 PM EDT, or sooner if conditions warrant.

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