Tybee Island makes preparations for Hurricane Hermine - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Tybee Island makes preparations for Hurricane Hermine

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
TYBEE ISLAND, GA (WTOC) -

The beach has pretty much cleared out on Tybee Island, mostly due to winds picking and shooting sand at folks.

Fire department officials say they are preparing for areas around the island to flood Thursday night. They bought extra chainsaws and a Jon boat in case roads in some areas become inaccessible. They've also boarded up city buildings, like the police department as well as the fire department and city hall in preparation for the strong winds. 

Rescue crews are encouraging residents to place sandbags around their homes – especially in areas that are notorious for flooding. Officials have handed out around 40,000 pounds of sand for residents to use. 

Many beachgoers were trying to get as much sun as they could today, but many folks started to call it quits as conditions started to change around 2 p.m. Thursday.

"It seems like it's getting a little windier – a little worse," Dale Harrell, Tybee Island.

"The beaches – we'll look at it tomorrow most likely it will be a double red. If the storm comes through and it's real rough, we'll close the beaches and encourage everyone to stay home. Stay out of the storm,"  said Ashely Fields, Tybee Island Fire Chief.

“We’re starting to see a bit of winds come in, it’s kind of wild,” said Tim Ortega.

“Were just waiting to ride it out that's what everyone keeps saying, you’re riding out the hurricane...yea I guess do,” said Justin Chesney.

"Especially the winds tomorrow and the riptides, there are a lot of things going on that you can’t see from the shore so just be aware be safe probably don't get in the water,” said Chad. 

Mayor Buelterman says even though they don't believe Highway 80 will flood, they're monitoring it just in case. They will have all hands on deck Friday, including lifeguards to keep people out of the water. He says they're more concerned about localized flooding. So far, they've provided around 40,000 pounds of free sand for residents to use for sandbags. He says overall, the city of Tybee is prepared. 

"Drains are all cleared. Our Department of Public Works has been out doing that yesterday and today, and also our sewage treatment facility, we've made sure that there aren't going to be any backups. Other communities that have had that when they've had heavy rains associated with tropical storms systems where they've had their sewage back up, and sewage goes into the community. We've done everything we can to make sure that doesn't happen on Tybee," said Mayor Buelterman, Tybee Island. 

Tybee lifeguards are flying double red flags until Saturday morning, meaning no one can get in the water.

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