2017-09-13 / Front Page

Miller County In Irma’s path

Latest map on the probable path of Irma. Latest map on the probable path of Irma. In anticipation of Hurricane Irma’s arrival, Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency for all 159 states in Georgia. Local law enforcement officers and emergency responders for Colquitt and Miller County met on Sunday, September 10, starting at 2:00 p.m. to finalize preparations for the storm scheduled to reach this area by Monday.

Hurricane Irma began in the Atlantic Ocean ripped through the Caribbean, passing over Cuba before hitting the Florida Keys, on Sunday morning. The storm system was over 400 miles wide and reached a Category 5 level. As it began its climb up the Florida coast, it dropped to a Category 2. By the time it was to reach Colquitt and Miller County, it was expected to be a Category 1, which can have winds as high as 95 miles per hour.

Earlier when news of Irma’s projected path into Florida became known, Southwest Georgia was one of the first places evacuees from Florida and coastal Georgia headed. And in the South, we offer southern hospitality.

The Star Motel was filled to capacity with evacuees from Florida. The Star Motel was filled to capacity with evacuees from Florida. On Saturday, KaCee Holt, Colquitt/ Miller County Chamber of Commerce director, said that the chamber office was open to evacuees as a place to stop by to rest, and also information was available as to where they may seek shelter. Snacks and drinks were also available to the evacuees.

The local Star Motel was filled to capacity as of early Saturday--all seeking shelter from Irma. One family spoke of how nice everyone was here and said they were thankful they had found shelter. “We are so thankful to be here but are so worried that we will not have a home to return to,” stated one of the evacuees.

Also Spring Creek Park RV campsite was filled, not only with RVs, but tents were pitched, too.

As the storm neared, a curfew was set here for Sunday night, and motorists were urged to stay off local roadways from 8:00 p.m. Sunday, September 10, on into Monday, September 11.

The Miller County School Sys t em announced closure for Monday, September 11, and Tuesday, September 12. Many local businesses were also to be closed on Monday as well as the local post office and Colquitt City Hall.

Citizens were urged to utilize 911 only for TRUE EMERGENCY situations and were instructed to contact their local electric provider to report power outages.

Some residents were already without power as early as Sunday afternoon. Downed power lines are anticipated with this storm system, and people are cautioned to not touch downed power lines or any objects entangled in power lines.

Officials announced the following on Sunday afternoon: “If your home is unsafe to shelter from the storm in, two area comfort stations are open. Free Will Baptist Church in the city limits and Flat Creek Baptist Church in the western-area of Miller County are welcoming people to shelter there. Please make arrangements to be there by 6 p.m. tonight. Bring your own blankets, pillows, snacks and drinks -- no cots are provided.”

Police Department officers and Chief Hollis Smith, Sheriff Scott Worsley and the Miller County Sheriff ’s Department, along with the Colquitt/Miller County Fire and Rescue Department will be working throughout the duration of the storm, ensuring efficient emergency response. Other local emergency responders were prepped and on stand-by to provide assistance to our community as soon as the need arose.

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