TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - Officials in cities across the Coastal Empire are monitoring Hurricane Dorian. That includes the city of Tybee.
While Highway 80 flooding affects Tybee, it’s actually up to the Chatham County Police Department to monitor it Thursday night. While police monitor the road, Tybee officials are monitoring the beach-goers for the holiday weekend.
Dorian can increase the chances for dangerous water conditions, regardless of whether or not it makes landfall in the Coastal Empire.
“It becomes a safety hazard, then it blocks the road completely, then we have to go rescue them, which, we’ve got to rescue vehicles out there," said Chatham County Police Chief, Jeff Hadley. "So, a lot can happen if someone gets stuck out there in the water.”
In the past, the tide maxing out at 10 feet would have closed most of Highway 80. Georgia DOT just finished a major project to add nine inches of cement to the road which appears to have stopped the flooding.
Starting Thursday, regional experts with the U.S Geological Survey will be watching areas like Highway 80 ahead of Hurricane Dorian where storm surge and inland flooding could be the most dangerous impacts from the storm ahead.
“Our hope is that when we deploy these sensors, that we are able to see the effect of the storm tide as it makes it way over land.”
The U.S.G.S is sending eight crews out on the coast of Georgia. They’ll install more than 100 sensors to track Dorian as it makes landfall on the Georgia coast, from Savannah to St. Mary’s.
“That data is very important for FEMA and local emergency managers to make real time decisions, and it also helps us understand the science of hurricanes.”
More than 62 measuring devices will be put out in low-lying, areas starting bright and early at 5:30 a.m. Friday.
“Be prepared for the possibility that perhaps it hits as a very strong storm, say Jacksonville area, and we will definitely feel affects from that and also, you know, we could have a situation where it’s a sunny, beautiful weekend out here," Mayor Buelterman said. “We’re going to have some serious rip currents and high surf, so that’s something else to consider, and our lifeguards will shut down the beach if they need to."
WTOC will continue to bring you the latest on Dorian on all of our platforms.