Preparing for the inevitable

Published 9:45 pm Friday, September 8, 2017

On Friday afternoon, Gov. Nathan Deal expanded the state of emergency currently covering a portion of the state of Georgia.

This expansion included Troup County, which was one of the northern-most counties under the declared state of emergency as of Friday afternoon. The original declaration covered only 30 Georgia counties, but was quickly expanded to include the 94 southernmost counties in the state.

The expectation on Friday afternoon was that Troup County will see wind gusts of approximately 50 miles per hour next week and will receive as much as four inches of rain.

With Troup County now under the state of emergency, all resources of the state are to be made available to assist in preparation, response and recovery activities.

Among other elements, the state of emergency prohibits price gouging for all goods and services related to the storm, and has authorized up to 5,000 Georgia National Guard members to be on state active duty to support Hurricane Irma response and recovery.

“The state is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety ahead of Hurricane Irma,” said Deal in a press release on Thursday. “I encourage all Georgians in our coastal areas that could be impacted by this storm to evacuate the area as soon as possible.”

Hurricane Irma is set to slam into southern Florida sometime Sunday morning, and begin making a deadly northern ascent up the backbone of the Sunshine State and into Georgia early Monday morning. While five-day forecasts are notoriously unpredictable, most projections as of Friday afternoon had the hurricane’s path tilting toward the western portion of the state, with LaGrange in the crosshairs of some potentially serious weather.

While dangerous weather is making its way toward Troup County, potentially the most bizarre element of the impending storm is how beautiful the weather has been these last few days, and how nice the next few will likely be as well. Looking ahead to the weekend radar, it appears as if the city will see nothing but blue skies and a pleasant environment until storms begin to set in Monday evening and into Tuesday.

It can be an odd thing, knowing something is looming in the future. The in-between moments can be downright eerie, but they can also lead to a lack of preparation. It can be easy to forget to prepare for impending weather when the immediate weather is so pleasant.

This weekend, however, take time to ensure you and your family have necessary supplies. Ensure you have enough water and food to ride out a potential loss of power. Use sound judgement when making decisions on whether or not to leave the house.

The storm will come and it will go, and LaGrange will still be standing. In the interim, let’s make sure we make it through together.