Hurricane Michael Weather & Response Update in Macon-Bibb
Wednesday, October 10th, 2018
Macon-Bibb is now under a Tropical Storm Watch due to Hurricane Michael, which is expected to make landfall in Florida on Wednesday as a Category 3 storm. Mayor Robert Reichert has declared a State of Emergency for Macon-Bibb County beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 9 and lasting the duration of the storm’s impact on the county.
Macon-Bibb is expected to receive sustained winds of 35-45 mph with gusts reaching 50-60 mph and 3-5 inches of rain, with some areas getting 6 inches or more. The winds and rain will be increasing throughout the day on Wednesday, with Tropical Storm winds (40+ mph) lasting from about 8:00 p.m. Wednesday through 7:00 a.m. Thursday. The threat of tornadoes also increases throughout the day Wednesday.
The Macon-Bibb County Emergency Operations Center will fully activate at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 10, and remain open through the duration of Hurricane Michael’s impact on the county. A shelter for evacuees will open at 6:00 p.m.on Tuesday, October 9.
“We want to stress the importance of preparing your families for this storm, and to shelter in place once it begins to move through our area,” says Macon-Bibb County Emergency Management Agency Director Spencer Hawkins. “We are anticipating similar wind speeds to what we had with Tropical Storm Irma, so people can expect power outages and fallen trees and power lines.”
The American Red Cross, along with local partners, will open an evacuation shelter at South Bibb Recreation Center (7035 Houston Road). The shelter can house about 200 people and will open on Tuesday, October 9 at 6:00 p.m. All recreation activities and programs there will be cancelled until the need for the shelter has passed.
This shelter cannot take in animals. If people evacuating ahead of the storm have pets, they can be housed at Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare at 4214 Fulton Mill Road.
People should only call 911 if they have life-threatening emergency. Any other calls should be directed to the Emergency Management Agency at 478-832-6300 so the appropriate agencies can be notified.
Because we are anticipating Tropical Storm force winds, you need to have a safe place in your home away from windows, with access to your emergency supplies. You also need to make sure the outside of your home is secure, and free of loose items and debris.
Stay away from windows, doors, and skylights.
Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level during the storm. Put as many walls between you and the outside as you can.
Check your yard and porch for anything the wind could catch. Porch swings, outdoor furniture, trampolines, children’s play set and swing sets, grills, detached fire pits. These items could be swept away and cause further damage.
Clean out gutters as you’re able to prevent pooling and further water damage.
Check on your elderly or disabled family, friends, and neighbors and make sure they are safe, or bring them to your home.
Have an emergency kit ready. It should include flashlights, extra batteries, portable cell phone chargers, a weather radio, fuel for generator (if you have one), cash, first aid kit, personal medications, critical paperwork, and information you might need in an emergency. This also includes any of these items that your pet might need too. You can find a comprehensive list of items for this kit at www.MaconBibb.us/EMA.
All Macon-Bibb County offices, facilities, and parks – including recreation centers, Government Center, and public parks – will be open on Wednesday, October 10. Decisions about Thursday will be made and announced on Wednesday based on the path and timing of the storm.
Trash & Recycling Pickup
People should bring their trash and garbage carts in from the curb Wednesday night before the storm hits. Since Tropical Storm winds could last into Thursday morning, do not put carts on the curb until after the storm has fully passed. Collection services could be delayed that day depending on the timing of the storm, so if a person’s trash and/or recycling is not collected as scheduled, the cans should be left out for pickup on Friday.
Bibb County School District
The Bibb County School District will be closed Thursday, October 11, out of precaution for Hurricane Michael. This should not impact schools, which are already closed for Fall Break this week; however, please be aware that many district employees are still working on contract this week. Only essential personnel have been asked to report to work on Thursday following the storm in order to assess any possible damage.
The Bibb County School District’s Operations Job Fair scheduled for Thursday and Friday will be rescheduled. Additionally, all athletic practices will come to an end by Wednesday afternoon. At this time, there are no games scheduled for Thursday. Friday’s football games will continue as planned, at this time.
Macon-Bibb County departments and partners are currently focused on supporting shelter and safety preparation activities. Crews are also preparing for any storm damage response that may be needed as Michael moves through the area.