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All eyes on Florence as it approaches east coast

Up until this point, you haven’t seen much printed in The LaGrange Daily News about Hurricane Florence, which is projected to hit the Carolina coast this weekend.

Part of the reason why is obvious. First of all, until Wednesday morning, LaGrange — and, frankly, almost all of Georgia — looked like it might be missed by the storm completely.

However, the track has started to shift further south over the last 24-36 hours, and now shows rain and winds may be possible next week for all of Georgia. LaGrange, hundreds of miles inland, is never going to get the brunt of a hurricane, but it is worth watching.

Regardless of whether or not the storm reaches Troup County, it’ll be downgraded severely by the time of its arrival, likely to a tropical storm or tropical depression, if not further. According to the latest forecasts, rain would be the biggest impact here locally, but it’s unclear how much this area will end up getting.

While we wait to see what happens here rain-wise, others are evacuating their homes in South Carolina and North Carolina. Many of those evacuees are heading to Georgia, south of where the storm is projected to go.

A lot of people here likely have friends or family in the path of the storm, which is projected to produce as much as 40 inches of rain once it stalls out on land. With the storm slowing down, there still might be time for them to evacuate, and if you know someone in the path, we urge you to convince them to do so.

Even more of our readers likely know someone on the east coast of Georgia. Although that portion of the state isn’t currently projected to receive much of the hurricane-like conditions, we encourage everyone — especially those along the coast — to pay attention. The meteorologists and experts who track these storms are outstanding at their jobs, but these storms are hard to track, and the slightest turn could completely change Florence’s path.

As for Troup County, the main thing for our readers to do is watch the forecast. As the storm gets closer to the coast, we’ll provide updates if it does actually make a turn toward Georgia. Our Facebook page and website will be updated with the latest information.

It seems unlikely that heavy winds would affect our area, at least according to the latest information from the National Hurricane Center. But heavy rains would, in the least, put a damper on the start of next week.