Widespread Impacts

Published 11:00 pm Monday, August 27, 2012

Pike County EMA warns of dangers from Isaac

Pike County Emergency Management Agency Director Jeanna Barnes is worried about Tropical Storm Isaac.

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“I am concerned with the track shifting to the West that people will think we are out of the woods,” Barnes said. “That’s not the case.”

Barnes called Isaac’s projected path a “low confidence track,” meaning that there’s still a fair amount of uncertainty about the storm.

Over the last few days, Barnes has participated in weather updates and briefings with many agencies. On Monday, she was expected to take part in at least eight webinars and conference calls.

“Isaac is on the East side of the forecast cone and this is a big storm,” Barnes said.

Barnes said that even with Isaac’s projected path making landfall near Mississippi, tropical storm winds are extending more than 250 miles from Isaac’s center.

Barnes said Pike County residents should expect a 20-30 percent chance of tropical storm force winds with sustained winds of 25-35 miles per hour. Gusts could reach up to 45 miles per hour, Barnes noted.

“Up to about six inches of rain with locally higher amounts are expected, depending on how rain bands set up,” Barnes said.

Rain was expected to affect areas of Pike County as early as Monday night with sustained winds moving into the area as early as Tuesday night.

“We will be in the Northeast quadrant of Isaac regardless of landfall, so that equals a tornado threat,” Barnes said. “There will be widespread impacts.”

Barnes said the EMA is taking the storm seriously and that Pike County residents should do the same.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley spoke via phone to EMA directors and also mayors around the state on Monday.

Although Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said the governor did speak about the ability to cancel or postpone municipal elections, Troy will move forward as scheduled.

“We are definitely not going to cancel. Our elections will be held [Tuesday] from 7 to 7,” Lunsford said.

As far as the city’s preparation goes, the mayor said the city will “hope and pray for the best and be prepared for the worst.”

While elections will go on, some local events will not.

Charles Henderson High School has postponed the school’s kick-off celebration planned for Thursday until Sept. 13. United Way organizers have also postponed their kick-off scheduled for this week.

Check troymessenger.com throughout the next several days for weather updates, closings and cancellations as they become available.