Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Georgia Hit Harder by Storms from Gulf

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Georgia Hit Harder by Storms from Gulf

Article excerpt

After the remnants of Tropical Storm Alberto flooded most of

the buildings on the Albany State University campus in 1994, the

school bought a new weather tracking system and warning system

of its own.

That's how seriously Western Georgia takes Gulf Coast storms,

with good reason.

While the Atlantic coast -- an 85-mile stretch from Savannah to

St. Marys -- would appear to be most vulnerable, it's Western

and Central Georgia that have been battered by severe tropical

weather recently.

"We've been preaching for years that a bigger danger to the

state are the hurricanes that come up through the Gulf Coast, or

through the back door, if you will," said Jim Bramble,

coordinator of the Dougherty County Emergency Management Office.

"We've had several hurricanes come through this part of the

state in the last decade, and the effects can be devastating."

Hurricane Bonnie bypassed the Georgia coast for North Carolina.

A hurricane watch was lifted for all of Georgia.

In Southeast Georgia, emergency management officials resumed

their normal duties yesterday -- standing down from the Bonnie

alert.

But authorities in Glynn, McIntosh and Camden counties said

they would be gearing up for Hurricane Danielle by the weekend.

"It's too soon to tell what Danielle's going to do, but we're

keeping an eye on it," said Ed Abel, director of Glynn County's

emergency management agency.

"We'll know more by the weekend. But right now, we've got a

couple days to kind of lay back and catch our breath," Abel

said. "We'll start monitoring it closely by Saturday. Until

then, we're in stand-by mode."

In McIntosh County, emergency management staffers planned to

meet today to critique the preparations for Bonnie and break out

a fresh set of tracking charts for Danielle.

It would be a mistake to assume Danielle will follow Bonnie's

path, said Ray Parker, McIntosh emergency management director.

"Our luck is going to run out one of these days," Parker said.

"We don't want to alarm people needlessly, but hurricanes are so

unpredictable that nobody should take them lightly."

The storms that come up through the Gulf of Mexico and the

Florida Panhandle may not be hurricanes when they hit Georgia,

but they still can be deadly.

After Alberto struck Florida and traveled into Georgia, it was

a tropical depression -- but still caused massive flooding in

the Albany area. …

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