McIntosh County emergency officials preach preparedness ahead of Ian’s possible impacts

Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 4:39 PM EDT
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MCINTOSH COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Ian’s path is still somewhat unclear so McIntosh County’s emergency officials are preparing for every situation.

The McIntosh County Emergency Management Agency is no stranger to the consequences of bad weather. In fact, they used to have a different building before it was destroyed by a tornado. EMA Director Ty Poppell knows how important it is to be prepared.

“We’re doing National Weather Service phone calls, now it’ll be four times a day. We’re having department head meetings here at the EOC, and also advising our county commissioners and county elected officials on what we’re doing for the storm,” Poppell said.

That includes tracking the path of Ian and getting county infrastructure ready. Poppell says crews are out clearing out ditches and drainage pipes, and also clearing any limbs or trees that look like they could fall during high winds - though this doesn’t totally eliminate the possibility of road blockages or power outages.

“Our road department and also our volunteer fire department always help us clear out trees from roadways and power lines once it’s safe to do so. Georgia Power and Coastal EMC is always on standby for storms like this and they usually come into our area during or immediately after storms,” Poppell said.

Poppell says people who live in McIntosh County should be prepared for flooding and road blockages, and they should have a hurricane kit ready.

They should also know that while police, fire, and medical workers will not evacuate from the county, emergency services will be suspended in the event of strong winds.

“There’s no emergency medical service if the winds get up to a sustained speeds of 35 miles an hour. Once they drop down below it, we’ll get to everyone we can, but at that time we can’t because of the safety of our ambulance personnel,” Poppell said.

For that reason, Poppell encourages folks to be prepared to shelter in place. There is currently no evacuation order for McIntosh County.