Lowndes County, Georgia – Earlier today, Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter and City of Valdosta Mayor John Gayle issued emergency declarations covering all cities and the county. View City of Valdosta Proclamation and Civil Emergencies Ordinance The local declarations protect consumers from price gouging and officially activate Lowndes County’s Emergency Operations Plan, which includes the cities of Valdosta, Hahira, Remerton, Lake Park, and Dasher. Reports from both city and county officials indicate local businesses continue to welcome visitors with quality goods and services well within fair pricing limits. Costs for goods and services that do not appear to be within fair market value should be reported to local law enforcement.
The following categories of consideration are the focus of current operations:
During an afternoon briefing, the National Weather Service provided forecast information indicating Lowndes County may begin experiencing the effects of Hurricane Irma during afternoon/evening hours on Sunday, Sept. 10 and move out sometime late Monday or early Tuesday. Current models indicate wind gusts between 40-50 mph, with a possibility of sustained winds as high as 40 mph. Worst case scenarios indicate wind speeds as high as 50 mph sustained. At this speed, winds have the potential to lift objects such as patio furniture, topple trees, break tree limbs, and damage roofs. Minor damage to mobile homes can also occur. Please prepare by securing outdoor items, trim trees that could damage structures, and consider sheltering if housing is not adequate.
As of 4:00 p.m., no shelters have been activated in Lowndes County. However, shelter locations have been identified and will be activated as needed. Since the path and strength of Irma are still somewhat unpredictable, evacuees are not being encouraged to seek shelter in Lowndes County at this time.
Consider the projected arrival time of severe weather and make plans in advance to avoid travel. Travel during periods of severe weather endangers motorists as well as public safety responders. If Lowndes County remains on the west side of the storm, the potential for rain will remain. Rain from hurricanes will move through the area intermittently. There will be a period of rain which will end for a time until the next band of rain arrives. This activity can typically be followed via weather radar. Choose to travel if travel is necessary before or after it rains. If at all possible, please remain in place until Irma has moved out of the area. Do not under any circumstances drive across flooded roads, streets, or bridges.
Lowndes County Emergency Management will continue to update media outlets throughout this event. In the event of an emergency, downed power lines, or debris in a roadway, dial 911. Please do not call 911 for weather updates, traffic information, or to ask if the storm has passed. Dispatchers will be very busy assisting public safety personnel and managing needs related to actual emergencies. Citizens are encouraged to sign up for Lowndes County’s free emergency notification system, CodeRed, by visiting www.lowndescounty.com, and clicking on the storm icon. Every home and business should also have a working NOAA weather radio in the event all power is lost.
Additional information will be released as it becomes available.