Columbia County pumps ponds, prepares for Nicole

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The Columbia County Public Works department is preparing for Tropical Storm Nicole which is expected to be a Category 1 hurricane later Wednesday.

Forecasts predict Columbia County will receive 2- 4 inches of rain and possible wind gusts up to 40-50 mph, so Public Works has activated its pre-storm response efforts.

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“Based on the current forecast we do not foresee this storm causing major damage to Columbia County,” said Kevin Kirby, Columbia County Assistant County Manager. “However, Public Works is prepared for the worst with man-power, materials, and equipment if the storm changes course or conditions worsen at any time.”

Public Works staff has made numerous preparations for staff and equipment to ensure storm plans are in place and safety is the number one priority. Public Works trucks and equipment are ready for deployment if necessary.

All county-owned retention ponds were being pumped down Wednesday morning to aid in possible flooding during the storm. Additionally, county bridges are being monitored.

Columbia County Public Works does not enter private property, but the department is working diligently to ensure all county-owned property and roadways are prepared for the storm.

Citizens should contact Public Works at 386-758-1019 to report issues.

Schools closed

The Columbia County School District said all schools will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 10. All extracurricular activities are also canceled that day.

The district will be closed on Friday, Nov. 11, for all employees and students in observance of Veterans Day.

According to the district, the plan is to re-open for a normal school day on Monday, Nov. 14.

Parade canceled

The Veterans Day Parade scheduled for Friday, Nov. 11 in Lake City has been canceled due to anticipated inclement weather.