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Severe weather possible in the area Friday
Despite threat, Bulloch County schools will be open
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Most of South Georgia escaped dangerous weather last weekend when a line of storms swept across neighboring states, but this time could be different.

Another line of intense and potentially hazardous weather is expected to reach Georgia Friday, threatening flooding, high winds, hail and possible tornadoes, said Bulloch County Public Safety Director Ted Wynn.

Citing information from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service, Wynn said the predicted intensity of the line of storms was upgraded Thursday.

“The Storm Prediction Center has upgraded much of Georgia to an ‘Enhanced Risk’ for severe weather,”
 he said. This means “level 3 out of 5 on their risk scale.”

All of Georgia is at risk, but the danger is higher for the southern and eastern regions, which includes Bulloch and surrounding areas, he said.

“Strong damaging wind gusts will be the primary threat. Isolated brief spin-up tornadoes are also possible within the line of storms.”

Heavy rainfall totaling 1 to 2 inches is expected across the state, and “winds could be nearly as strong as during a hurricane,” forecasters said, as reported by the Associated Press Thursday.

In spite of the weather and the fact that schools and government offices were closed Thursday in Louisiana, Alabama and Texas, according to Associated Press reports, Bulloch County Schools will remain open Friday, said Hayley Greene, public relations and marketing specialist for the school system.

“All (information) thus far appears to indicate that we will not be majorly affected by this line of storms that is predicted to affect the southeastern United States,” she said. “The school system is monitoring the potential for severe thunderstorms which are currently estimated to occur in Bulloch County.”

The brunt of the storms is expected to arrive in the area between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. today.

“We are in regular communication with the Bulloch County Emergency Management Agency and will remain so throughout the day,” she said in a statement released Thursday evening. “At this time, public safety officials do not recommend closing schools in Bulloch County.”

Both she and Wynn advised residents of the area to be prepared for high winds, heavy rain, and possible hail.

Power outages could also occur, Wynn said. In spite of Friday being a holiday for county employees, “I have spoken to public works and they will have crews ready” to repair downed power lines, clear roads and perform any other storm cleanup, he said.

 

Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at 912-489-9414.