Follow this feed for up-to-date information on Hurricane Irma and its impacts in Forsyth County as the storm moves toward north-metro Atlanta. All times are local.
Monday, Sept. 11, 3:55 p.m.
There are currently 2,908 Sawnee EMC customers without power, including 337 in Forsyth and 2,353 in north Fulton.
All city of Cumming departments and activities, including the Aquatic Center and Dobbs Creek Recreation Facility, will close at 2 p.m. until further notice.
According to Crystal Ledford, spokeswoman for the city government, everything will shut down "until further notice," except the Cumming Police Department, which will remain open.
"For emergency situations, including calls that would normally go to the Cumming Streets Department, please contact the Cumming Police Department at (770) 887-2000, or call 911," Ledford said.
Forsyth County Schools will be closed on Tuesday, Sept. 12, and it will not be an online learning day.
All 240-day employees should report at 10 a.m. if it is safe to travel, according to Hannah Samples, a spokeswoman for the school system. The Board of Education will meet at 4 p.m. as scheduled.
Forsyth County governmental offices and facilities, including the Forsyth County Courthouse, Courthouse Annex, animal shelter, recycling and convenience centers, Senior Services and parks and recreation indoor and gated facilities, will close at 1 p.m. Monday due to incoming weather conditions.
Jodi Gardner, spokeswoman for the county, also said all parks and recreation programs and activities are canceled.
As south and middle Georgia continue to feel “serious impacts from Irma and increased weather threats are headed toward north Georgia and the metro,” Forsyth County officials are expecting to see increased wind and rain threats heading into the afternoon.
As of the noon briefing at the Emergency Operations Center at the Forsyth County Public Safety Complex, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office said chainsaw teams have already responded to a “limited number of trees down across the county” and are en-route to two trees down along Pilgrim Mill Road and at Atlanta Highway and Pendley Road.
“Fire and all county departments are well-represented and responding,” a social media post from the sheriff’s office said.
Tree down at Atlanta Highway and Tulip Road
Sawnee EMC has returned power to most of its customers who experienced outages Monday morning.
The Cumming-based electric services cooperative said there are 27 customers in Forsyth and Hall counties without power.
“We have 345 staff members, as well as an additional 195 line workers and 94 right of way workers, giving us a total of 634 staff members responding to the effects of Hurricane Irma,” according to an update on the company’s website.
There were 963 outages reported at 10:05 a.m.
Six U-Haul companies across 21 facilities and 15 cities in Georgia are offering free self-storage units for those impacted by Hurricane Irma, including one in Forsyth County.
The Cumming location at 3060 Keith Bridge Road can be contacted by calling (770) 888-6155.
Georgians seeking assistance or needing more information about the 30-day offer should contact their nearest participating facility.
An American Legion Post 307 in Cumming postponed until next month an event scheduled for Monday, Sept. 11 featuring high school students who went to Boys State and Girls State.
A flash flood watch is in effect in Forsyth County, north and central Georgia until Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 8 a.m. The National Weather Service predicted 2-6 inches of rainfall Monday and overnight into Tuesday.
Sunday, Sept. 10, 9:15 p.m.
Governmental and emergency response departments in Forsyth County are preparing for the storm at a centralized location in north Forsyth. The Emergency Operations Center is working out of the Forsyth County Fire Department’s Public Safety Complex and has representatives from agencies including the fire department, sheriff’s office, county roads and bridges department, school system, ambulance service and county parks and recreation department.
“We’re still bracing for a tropical storm-like event in the Forsyth County area,” said Division Chief Jason Shivers, spokesman for the fire department. “Our confidence has fairly solidified in the probability of tropical storm-like winds and fairly heavy rainfall.”
He said Forsyth is forecasted to receive 3-5 inches of rainfall from Irma that will be blown around in 30-40-mile-per-hour winds with gusts up to 50 mph.
This will bring down trees that will fall on power lines, traffic signals and roadways, Shivers said.
“We’re continuing to plan for the worst and hope that it is lesser of an impact in the north-metro area than what south Georgia will be experiencing,” he said. “There will be a fairly high demand on county services through Tuesday morning at the least.”
He said residents should be prepared to lose power and should have items to last without it, should services go down.
As of Sunday night, all county government offices, services and public parks and amenities were and will remain open.
Forsyth County Schools announced earlier Sunday the district will be closed Monday, Sept. 11.
Lanier Technical College will be closed Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 11-12 at all campuses.
The University of Georgia canceled all classes on all campuses for Monday and Tuesday.
Gainesville City Schools and Hall County Schools are closed Monday.
The Place of Forsyth County, an emergency services nonprofit, will remain open.
The commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District, which manages Lake Lanier, said Sunday all of the district’s reservoirs have available flood-storage capacity to handle the forecasted rainfall from Irma.
“Lake Lanier is more than five feet below the guide curve, which means we’re in an extremely good position throughout our system,” Col. James DeLapp said in a news release.
Lanier is still recovering from a year-long drought that it recently got out of and is still below full pool.