TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - “It’s always better to be safe and prepared than to take a very casual attitude,” Tybee Island Mayor Shirley Sessions said.
Mayor Sessions says visitors and residents should be taking Tropical Storm Isaias just as seriously as city leaders.
“We are going to be prepared tomorrow for high winds, for floods. If there is any flooding it’s probably going to be around high tide,” Mayor Sessions said.
For most of the day Sunday, the lifeguards were flying either a red flag or double red flags, meaning there's a high hazard and people shouldn't be swimming.
"If you go in the water, you'll be going at your own risk. We will not have our lifeguards put their life on the line to save people if it's treacherous weather."
Several people say they came to Tybee for vacation and didn't even realize their trip would be impacted by a tropical storm until it was too late.
“Last night we got here, and we found out that there’s going to be a storm coming like a couple days before. But we booked this trip back in February, so obviously we had no idea and we’re not changing our plans,” visitor Clarissa Peterson said.
“We didn’t find out about it until we got here the day after,” visitor Donna Raney said.
Others, however, say they came to the beach specifically to see what was happening.
“They like to come down here when it’s crazy weather for some reason. I mean, I’m down here,” Wilmington Island resident Jennifer McFarlin said.
McFarlin said she is prepared for whatever the storm brings.
“I do have my batteries and flashlights and all those things that I need, my hand-cranked radio,” McFarlin said.
Raney said she actually saw the change in the ocean as winds began to pick up Sunday evening.
“He had looked at the weather and it said the winds were coming in at 5:00 and honestly, like ten minutes to 5 they showed up. It is a big difference now from when we got here because when we got here it was really still,” Raney said.
Mayor Sessions said people should bring things from their yard inside or secure them down. She also said the public works team, first responders and lifeguards will all be on hand for any emergencies.
“They will be prepared to jump into action for anything that’s needed because, again, governments’ role is safety first,” Mayor Sessions said.