Businesses on Tybee preparing for potential impacts from Hurricane Isaias

Businesses on Tybee preparing for potential impacts from Hurricane Isaias

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - Tybee businesses are getting ready to prepare for the potential impact Hurricane Isaias may have on the island.

As of Friday it’s business as usual on the island. It’s a beautiful day and a lot of people are taking advantage of it before the storm this weekend.

Gerald Shantz, who owns the restaurant Gerald’s Pig and Shrimp, says he hasn’t put things away just yet, but after being open for more than 10 years he does have a plan in place.

Shantz says because of the precautions he takes his restaurant has never had damage from past hurricanes. The restaurant is almost all outdoors, so on Sunday Shantz says he’ll start taking things down and making sure things are secured.

“What we do in the dining room is turn the tables upside down, we stack the chairs and lay them on their side and that way there’s no way wind can get under them. When we leave here Sunday night or if we leave earlier everything will be put away.”

Shantz says having a business on the island means having to make sure his building meets all of the specifications for severe wind speeds. He says he prepares for the worst and hopes for the best.

The City of Tybee staff met Friday morning to go over plans for this weekend as Hurricane Isaias moves closer and the potential impact it could have on the city.

As of right now the city manager says no one will be allowed to swim because of unsafe water conditions.

City Manager Shawn Gillen says the city is preparing for the hurricane by making sure the staff knows what to do by walking through their hurricane checklist. Gillen says their back up pumps for the sewer system are ready in case they need them.

Also, city hall will be closed on Monday because a lot of their staff travel in from off the island and they want to play it safe in case of any flooding. If you do go out onto the beach over the next few days, especially on Sunday or Monday, you are advised to look at the lifeguard stand for the color flag that’s waving.

The city says they are calling Sunday and Monday double red flag days, which means people can’t go swimming.

“Surfers and people with kayaks are still allowed as long as you have a flotation device. This is a restriction for swimmers only in the water. It’s a standard rough surf, double red flag scenario.”

Gillen says people should just pay attention to any and all alerts from CEMA and the mayor, so they can plan accordingly.

We spoke with one visitor who says he’s from Texas where he’s experienced many hurricanes. He says he’s going to drive away from the coast Saturday and not do anything to risk his safety.

“I am going to not contribute my gene pool to the coast and the high surf and that kind of thing. I’m going to be wise and stay clear of the storm,” said James Burke.

Gillen says people will still be allowed on the beach, they just can’t swim.

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