City of Savannah prepping facilities, personnel ahead of Hurricane Dorian

City of Savannah prepping facilities, personnel ahead of Hurricane Dorian

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah city leaders got an update Thursday afternoon on how Emergency Management is monitoring Hurricane Dorian.

The city’s emergency management office is prepping facilities and personnel. The office’s director, David Donnelly, says they are making arrangements to look at the possibility of moving staff off-site to the Guardian Center in Perry, Ga., as well as to Georgia Southern’s Statesboro campus.

Donnelly says it doesn’t look like they will need to take advantage of those resources.

“The track trends for us have been favorable. The one thing we are watching is a turn to the west, northwest tomorrow evening, hopefully, and again, we are still four days away, so we are following CEMA’s lead as far as remaining at OPCON 4,” Donnelly said.

CEMA says they want people to prepare and to have a plan in place in case things change.

“Today and yesterday have pretty much been periods of time where we’ve been staring to get ready, and we go ahead and make sure that everybody is ready to pull triggers if need be," said CEMA Director, Dennis Jones. "Tomorrow, we start putting things in place, so that’s where we start moving things around, making sure that if we had to issue any type of impacts or if we had to issue any type of orders for the community, we’d have everything in place in order to do that.”

One area of concern during hurricane conditions is street flooding. An extra amount of rain can contribute to storm drains not being able to keep up with the amount of rainfall leading to backups and flooded streets. City officials say it’s a past problem they’re aware of, and are prepared for.

“We’re always working on making sure the infrastructure is ready to go to absorb the frequent rains we have in Savannah. That’s nothing new for us really, it’s just making sure that everyone is ready to respond in a storm,” said Nick Zoller, City of Savannah, Communications Director.

The City of Savannah is coordinating with multiple other agencies to make sure there is a unified response.

“We’re always actively monitoring, talking to the city, talking to federal partners to make sure that we’re aware of the situation and ready to act if it does start to turn our way,” Zoller said.

Donnelly says until the storm threat passes, they’ll have two conferences calls a day and will continue to watch Dorian’s track.

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