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Tropical storm conditions forecast for Bulloch area Friday
Wind gusts from Ian may top 50 mph
Eastbound traffic crowds Interstate 4 as people evacuate in preparation for Hurricane Ian approaches the western side of the state Tuesday in Lake Alfred, Fla. - photo by The Associated Press

The current forecast track for Hurricane Ian projects the center of what likely will be a tropical storm to pass directly through Bulloch County sometime Friday into Saturday morning bringing wind gusts topping 50 mph and as much as six inches of rain in some areas.

The National Weather Service is forecasting tropical storm-like conditions caused by Hurricane Ian may begin to be felt in Bulloch County by Thursday evening with wind gusts nearing 35 mph and heavy rain beginning late in the evening or early Friday morning.

“We’ll probably see some tropical-storm-like gusty winds, downed trees, some power outages and, depending on the amount of rain, some road issues,” said Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Wynn. “I urge area residents to monitor the storm and take any necessary precautions.”


Bulloch County Schools

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Bulloch County Schools System had not announced any plans to cancel classes later in the week, according to a release from Public Relations Director Hayley Greene.

“If decisions are made to alter school schedules, it will be immediately communicated through the district's mass communication system, website, social media and local and area news media,” Greene said in the email.

Southeast Bulloch High moved its homecoming football game scheduled for Friday against Islands to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Fred Shaver Field in Brooklet.

Portal High cancelled its football game against the Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics that was set for Friday. The homecoming pep rally was moved to Friday, Oct. 7 and the homecoming queen and court will be announced during halftime of the Oct. 7 game at the Portal Athletic Complex against Montgomery County.


State of Emergency

On Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Brian Kemp issued a State of Emergency order after for all counties in Georgia in preparation for Hurricane Ian's impact later in the week that will take effect at 7 .m. Thursday.

The Governor’s Office said a tropical storm warning has been issued for Camden and Glynn Counties, and a tropical storm watch has been issued for the remainder of the Georgia coast. Tropical storm conditions will be possible along the entire coastline of Georgia Wednesday through Saturday, with moderate to perhaps major coastal flooding, dangerous rip currents, and beach erosion all possible.

Three to five feet of storm surge above ground level will be possible in surge-prone areas along the entire Georgia coast, and the heavy rainfall in Southeast Georgia could exacerbate any flooding issues that develop.


Set to hit Florida

Tropical storm-force winds were expected across Florida’s southern peninsula late Tuesday, reaching hurricane-force Wednesday — when the hurricane's eye was predicted to make landfall. With tropical storm-force winds extending 115 miles (185 kilometers) from Ian’s center, damage was expected across a wide area of Florida.

It was not yet clear precisely where Ian would crash ashore. Its exact track could determine how severe the storm surge is for Tampa Bay, said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy. Landfall south of the bay could make the impact “much less bad,” McNoldy said.

Ian’s forward movement was expected to slow over the Gulf, enabling the hurricane to grow wider and stronger. The hurricane warning covers roughly 180 miles of Florida's west coast. The area includes Fort Myers as well as Tampa and St. Petersburg, which could get their first direct hit by a major hurricane since 1921.

Forecasters said the surge of ocean water could reach 10 feet if it peaks at high tide. Rainfall near the area of landfall could top 16 inches.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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