73ºF

Southeast Georgia gears up for possible effects of Tropical Storm Isaias

Camden County school district opts to delay start by 1 day

Tropical Storm Isaias could be off Georgia’s coastline on Monday and officials in local counties are preparing for the effects of the storm.

The U.S. Coast Guard Southeast also issued a warning Saturday about the risk of rip currents.

Seas are projected for at least 20 feet and winds are roughly to be around 30 mph, the Coast Guard said. Stay off the water, they warned. Due to the storm, emergency rescue crews may take longer than normal to respond.

Camden County

The Camden County Board of Commissioners has issued a State of Emergency for Camden County in advance of possible impacts from Tropical Storm Isaias. Additionally, Camden County and the cities of Kingsland, St. Marys, and Woodbine will close government offices and courts for Monday.

Advance in-person voting, originally scheduled for Monday, has been canceled.

With the impending approach of Tropical Storm Isaias, at this time coastal Camden County is in a tropical storm warning and a coastal flood advisory, along with a risk of rip currents. All residents should remain aware of these threats and understand that forecast track and storm intensity could change.

RELATED: How will Isaias impact Jacksonville area?

The National Hurricane Center forecasts Tropical Storm Isaias to pass close to the Southeast Georgia coastline where it may produce tropical-storm-force winds.

On Sunday, a handful of houses near downtown St. Marys had sandbags in front of the front doors and garages.

Residents said they’re keeping a close eye on the storm but hope the downtown drainage system will keep floodwaters away from the houses.

“Just more or less just kind of keeping everything out of the yard that could be blown away, strapping everything down, making sure,” said Zach Taylor, who lives in St. Marys. “We’re under a canopy of trees, so we want to make sure anything important is kind of out in the open so it doesn’t get damaged or anything. But other than that, we’re just waiting to see.”

School start delayed

Due to the threat of Tropical Storm Isaias, Camden County Schools says it is delaying its school start date until Tuesday, Aug. 4, a day after it was originally scheduled to begin.

Isaias could be off Georgia’s coastline on Monday -- just as schools were set to reopen in the county.

According to a news release, the decision was out of an abundance of caution. Employees will still report to work on Aug. 3 for an additional day of pre-planning.

The news release reads in part:

“While the impact of the hurricane on our county is expected to be minimal, delaying school for one day will allow our maintenance team members to survey our school properties to ensure they are free of debris and can safely reopen and school busses are able to safely access the more remote parts of our county.”

In addition to sending out messages through SchoolMessenger, the district will also post updates on its website at www.camden.k12.ga.us and on the Camden County Schools Facebook page.

To be included in the district’s text alerts, text YES to 67587.

Coastal Health District suspends operations

The Georgia Department of Public Health’s Coastal Health District will suspend operations on Monday due to the potential for wind and rain associated with Tropical Storm Isaias.

All district offices, county health departments and COVID-19 specimen collection sites will be closed. Anyone with an appointment scheduled for Monday will be notified of the closure and will have the opportunity to reschedule. The COVID-19 Testing Call Center will also be closed on Monday.

All sites and the call center are expected to reopen with normal hours on Tuesday.

Sandbags

The city of St. Marys provided sandbags for business owners and residents.

Public works had self-fill bags available Saturday at 819 Point Peter Road in St. Marys.

Gates were open from 8 a.m. to noon.

Glynn County

In Glynn County, there is a tropical storm warning for the coastal areas, and inland areas are under a coastal flood advisory for Monday and into the morning hours of Tuesday. A warning means that those areas indicated should prepare for impacts as they are expected soon.

No City of Brunswick or Glynn County Offices are expected to be closed on Monday, but some Glynn County Recreation and Parks activities and amenities such as pools will be closed for the day.

As the storm passes on Monday, shelter in place and stay out of the water. These storms can cause strong rip tides and higher than normal waves due to high winds. More than one foot of flooding is predicted in areas that typically flood due to storm surge. If you are unsure if you are in a flood-prone area, check out the flood maps for your area here: https://glynncounty.org/1658/Web-Flood-Maps.

Use this as a reminder to continue to prepare for hurricane season.

  • Secure loose or lightweight items outside your house or business.
  • Finalize your disaster kit.
  • Ensure you have extra medications and medical supplies.
  • If your medication requires refrigeration, ensure you have a plan in place should you lose power for an extended period of time.
  • Make sure all information in your family communication plan is up to date and everyone knows the plan.
  • Make provisions for your pet. Make sure they are inside, out of the elements, and have plenty of food and water.
  • Flooding is possible in low lying areas; Turn Around Don’t Drown!

Updates will be available at www.glynncounty.org.


About the Authors: