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County officials ready for 2011 storm season

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POSTED: June 6, 2011 11:00 a.m.
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This NOAA satellite image shows Hurricane Floyd as it approached the south East Coast in September 1999. According to officials, Floyd was the last major storm to significantly impact the Savannah area.

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Residents of Bryan County can rest a little easier this hurricane season knowing that Bryan County Emergency Services Director Jim Anderson along with his agency and staff are well prepared to assist residents in the event of a major storm.

Anderson said it only takes one major storm making landfall to devastate the community, and he can’t emphasize enough that everyone should be prepared.

“Don’t wait until the last minute to put together an emergency supply kit and to plan what you will do in the event of an evacuation,” Anderson said. “The time for planning is now, when all is calm and the storms have not formed.”

Hurricane season officially started Wednesday and runs through Nov. 30. Federal forecasters say they expect three to six major hurricanes from an above-average storm season. Anderson said he is aware of these predictions, and knows a storm could occur at any time.

“The water is warm enough already to sustain tropical development, and it seems to be warmer this year than in years past,” he said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts a 65 percent chance of an “above average” season in its 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook. With this, it’s estimated 12 to 18 named storms, six to 10 hurricanes and three to six major hurricanes could occur.

The National Weather Service classifies a major hurricane as a Category 3, a storm with wind speeds of 111-130 mph, or greater. Anderson said Bryan County could see a “large effect” out of a Category 2 hurricane, with wind speeds of 96-110 mph, should one make landfall near the area.

“With a Category 2, you can see tree damage and flooding of major roads, but it all depends on exactly how the storm comes in because there are so many variables,” Anderson said.

Read more in the June 4 edition of the News.

 

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