Elbert County EMS briefs officials on impending hurricane
Elbert County Director of Emergency Services Chuck Almond issued a briefing with local authorities Thursday morning on the challenges Elberton and Elbert County should expect to face in the next few days with Hurricane Florence inching closer.
Almond, who has been in close contact with the National Weather Service, says the county is expected to get an “abundance” of rain.
Almond said that Elbert County should expect to see rainfall beginning around 2 a.m. Sunday, with heavy rainfall later in the day. According to the National Weather Service, the area is expected to get upward of 6 inches of rainfall and winds at 40 mph Sunday into Monday following Hurricane Florence, which will become a tropical storm before coming through Northeast Georgia.
Almond anticipates moderate to minor damage in the area with some power outages and limited trees down. "The circular [system] should be moving [through] after lunch Monday," he reported. Almond also stated that any road closings to the flooding will be posted and kept updated on the Elbert County Emergency Services Facebook page.
"This Hurricane has the same characteristics as Hurricane Irma in that it keeps changing its path," Almond said. "“Things change rapidly.”
For now, Florence has been downgraded to a category 2 hurricane. "That's good for a lot of reasons," he said.
Almond also stated that, if needed, the first shelter in the community to open by the Red Cross will be Rock Branch Baptist Church.
County Administrator Bob Thomas said Bobby Brown Park is open to evacuees for camping. Camping rates are half-price and dry camping is free for evacuees. "We already have a few evacuees in the campground," Thomas said.
According to School Superintendent Chuck Bell, Elbert County School System will be monitoring the weather through Sunday for any potential road closings that would affect bus routes. At this time, schools will operate under their normal schedule.
Updates will be posted by Elbert County Emergency Services as the forecast changes.