WEATHER UPDATE

Grady County Schools will be closed on Friday due to expected weather conditions related to Tropical Storm Hermine. A decision about whether to reschedule the Cairo High School football game against Thomas County Central High School scheduled for Friday night in Cairo will be made Friday at 11 a.m.
The Grady County Emergency Management Agency has issued the following statement:
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ADVISES: TROPICAL STORM HERMINE IN THE CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO WILL SLOWLY APPROACH THE REGION TODAY AND LIKELY MOVE ONSHORE TONIGHT. THE HEAVIEST RAIN WILL LIKELY OCCUR THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH EARLY FRIDAY. MANY OF THE GAUGES IN THE WATCH AREA WILL GET 5 TO 10 INCHES OF RAIN…BUT ISOLATED AMOUNTS OF 15 TO 20 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE. THESE HEAVY RAINS MAY CAUSE LIFE THREATENING FLASH FLOODS.
FLASH FLOOD WATCH: Grady County is currently under a FLASH FLOOD WATCH through Saturday, September 3, 2016. Residents in low lying and flood prone areas should closely monitor weather conditions. Grady County is under a TROPICAL STORM WATCH. Tornadoes could occur in this system.
WIND: Protect against DANGEROUS WIND having possible significant impacts across Southwest Georgia. Tropical storm force winds are expected across our area. Sustained winds 58 to 73 mph with gusts of 74 to 95 mph are likely. Prepare for uprooted trees and downed power lines with power outages. Power outages could last for several hours or days. Unsecured buildings and unsecured lightweight objects should be anchored or tied down, including toys, trampolines, trash cans and furniture.
TIME: Timing for this event for Grady County is from Midnight, Thursday through noon on Friday, Sept. 2.
SHELTER: Mandatory evacuations are not being made at this time. Residents should make preparations to protect life and property. Residents in mobile homes should continue to monitor weather conditions and wind advisories and seek shelter in a reinforced building or room.
No local shelters have been opened; however, if you have sheltering needs, and cannot make alternative arrangements please contact Grady County EMA at 229-377-0628 as early as possible.
POWER OUTAGES: Be prepared for power outages and make final preparations before the arrival of tropical storm force winds around midnight tonight. This event will be an overnight event and should be out of our area by noon on Friday.
The Messenger spoke with Rod Prince with the City of Cairo Utilities, and he said crews are ready for the storm. “We are expecting the worst and hoping for the best,” Prince said.
The Messenger also spoke with Grady EMC spokesman Donnie Prince, and he said crews are on standby with backup help from other EMCs on call if needed. He said crews will be sent out to repair any power outages as soon as conditions are safe. He asks customers to report any downed electrical lines or trees leaning on lines by calling 377-6060, 1-877-757-6060, or 377-4182. Prince also asks customers with generators to make sure the generator has an automatic disconnect switch, which protects the utility linemen from possible electrocution. Generators that fail to disconnect as soon as power is restored, could reenergize a downed utility line that the lineman had killed and assumes is still dead.
Other closures:
Southern Regional College is closing Thursday at 4 p.m., and will remain closed Friday.
Thomas University closed at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, and will remain closed Friday.

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