Hermine spreads damage, power outages to Georgia

Brantley, Camden, Charlton, Glynn, Ware counties close schools Friday

BRUNSWICK, Ga. – Tropical Storm Hermine's eye was forecast to cross over the Waycross, Georgia, area, but it ended up just north of Ware County.

The area still had high winds and intense rain from the system. A pine tree snapped in half and fell across a power line, causing the tree to catch fire. 

As soon as the winds died down, utility crews began restoring power to about 22,000 Georgia Power customers who lost electricity during the storm. 

Hermine was the first hurricane to hit Florida in more than a decade when it came ashore early Friday as a Category 1 storm.  After pushing into Georgia, Hermine moved into the Carolinas and up the East Coast with the potential for drenching rain and flooding.

Gov. Nathan Deal announced Thursday that a state of emergency for 56 counties in Georgia would go into effect at noon Thursday and would extend through midnight Saturday.

“Georgia is expected to receive severe weather related to Hurricane Hermine through Saturday,” Deal said. “We are working to ensure counties in south, central and coastal Georgia have access to the state resources necessary to prepare and respond when Hurricane Hermine enters Georgia. Our Emergency Operations Command will continue closely monitoring this storm and additional counties may be included in this declaration as needed.”

The governor's emergency declaration included the following counties: Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brantley, Brooks, Bryan,  Bulloch, Burke, Camden, Candler, Charlton, Chatham, Clinch, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Crisp, Decatur, Dodge, Echols, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Glynn, Grady, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson,  Lanier, Laurens, Liberty, Long, Lowndes, McIntosh, Mitchell, Montgomery, Pierce, Richmond, Screven, Seminole, Tattnall, Telfair, Thomas, Tift, Toombs, Treutlen, Turner, Ware, Wayne, Wheeler, Wilcox and Worth counties.

Damage reports in Glynn County

Glynn County Public Works crews continued to clear roadways Friday of downed trees and worked on traffic signals throughout Glynn County.

The following intersections remained without power at 7 p.m. and police officers were directing traffic. Treat intersections without a working signal as a four-way stop. Please drive slowly and with due attention for officer safety.

  • Chapel Crossing Rd. and  US 17
  • Altama Ave. and Altama Conn.
  • Golden Isles Pkwy. and Canal Rd.
  • Golden Isles Pkwy. and Walker Rd.
  • Altama Ave. and Chapel Crossing Rd.
  • Glynco Pkwy. and Harry Driggers Blvd.
  • Altama Ave. and Altama Conn.
  • Ga Hwy. 303 and New Jesup Hwy.
  • Since Georgia Power dispatched crews early Friday afternoon, power service had been restored to over 5,000 customers in the Brunswick area by 7 p.m.. Several crews from out of state arrived and were working to continue to assess current events and restoration efforts. Work will continue throughout the weekend. 

    For information on current known closures, power outages, and road closures, monitor glynncounty.org.

    School closures

    Brantley, Camden, Charlton Glynn and Ware counties closed schools Friday. 

    The Ware County Gators vs. Coffee County Trojans football game has been rescheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

    According to current weather models, the severe weather will impact the Ware County vs. Coffee Co. football game scheduled for Friday evening at Memorial Stadium. The game will be rescheduled. 

    In Camden County, all after-school activities with the exception of the Extended Day Program have been canceled for Thursday.

    Camden and Columbia County canceled the football game scheduled Friday night in Lake City. Due to field conditions in Columbia County, officials believe that playing the game in Columbia County on Saturday is not feasible. Camden County Schools have offered to host the game at Chris Gilman Stadium at 11 a.m. Saturday, but a decision had not been made Thursday afternoon.

    All after-school activities in Charlton County on Thursday have been canceled. The Charlton County vs. Appling County football game scheduled for Friday night in Baxley has been canceled.

    Glynn County said all after-school and extracurricular programs have been canceled as well, including after school instructional programs, Boys and Girls Clubs of Glynn programs at middle school sites, and band and athletic programs.  

    The Glynn Academy football game in Orlando on Thursday was expected to take place as planned with kickoff at 8 p.m. at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  The Brunswick High School game against Cook County in Adel, Georgia, has been rescheduled for Saturday at noon.

    Other school closures in local Georgia counties:

    • King of Peace Episcopal Day School in Kingsland, Ga., will be closed Friday

    VA clinic closed

    The St. Marys VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic will be closed Friday.

    If patients need information, please call the NF/SGVHS Hotline number at 386-755-3016, ext. 2915 or toll free at 1-800-308-8387.

     If veterans have a medical emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

    Camden County closures

    The Health Department and public health offices in Camden County will be closed Friday and will reopen at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

    Glynn County closures

    • Government offices will be closed on Friday
    • Health departments and public health offices will be closed Friday.
    • Parks will be closed: Selden Park, Ballard Park, North Glynn Recreation Complex, Howard Coffin Park, Mallery Park, Neptune Park/Casino, Blythe Island Regional Park, Neptune Miniature Golf.
    • All levels of court are canceled for Friday, and the courthouse building will be closed.
    • The Glynn County Animal Shelter will be closed Friday and officers will only be responding to emergency calls as weather conditions permit.
    • Marshes of Glynn Libraries on the Brunswick and St. Simons Island Library will close at 4 p.m. Thursday. The libraries will remain closed on Friday. Operations on Saturday may be suspended based on weather conditions.

    Watching the storm

    The tropical storm warning area includes the Georgia cities of Brunswick, St. Marys, Kingsland and Waycross and means tropical storm conditions are expected within 24 hours.

    The National Hurricane Center said coastal Georgia could get 4 to 7 inches of rain, with up to 10 inches possible in some areas.

    Waycross Middle School at 700 Central Avenue opened at 6 p.m. Thursday to shelter those in need. 

    The National Park Service announced that Cumberland Island National Seashore, off the coast of Camden County, would close at 2 p.m. Thursday and remain closed all day Friday. There will be no ferry service either day. The park plans to reopen for normal operating hours on Saturday, barring any extensive damage from the storm.

    Fort Frederica National Monument also closed at 2 p.m. Thursday and will remain closed all day Friday.