CEMA remains on alert ahead of Hurricane Earl

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The Chatham Emergency Management Agency is watching closely as Hurricane Earl moves through the Atlantic.

CEMA deactivated its emergency operations center at noon Tuesday and remains in OPCON 4, which is an advanced stage of readiness when a storm is approximately 120 hours away from Chatham County.

CEMA called in its personnel and bunkered down Tuesday morning to watch the path of this storm.

The agency was ready to make critical decisions. For instance, if the storm hadn't changed its path, CEMA would have started evacuating people with special needs on Tuesday.

Everyone is breathing a little easier on Tuesday, but that wasn't the case on Monday night.

"We were seriously concerned. The storm continued to creep toward us. The National Hurricane Center has said that the storm could be 200 [to] 300 miles either direction off the track and it's a severe Category 4 storm, which meant there was a possibility it could be making landfall in Chatham County, and we're trying to make sure, that's what our job is, to protect the citizens. It was prudent to do that at that time," said CEMA Director Clayton Scott.

Scott said this is a good wakeup call because in the peak of hurricane season is about to arrive.

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