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UPDATE: Forsyth in wind advisory due to Tropical Storm Ian
Hurricane Ian
Forsyth County leaders discuss Hurricane Ian during a meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 27. - photo by Forsyth County Government

UPDATE (Thursday, Sept. 29, 2:45 p.m.): Though state and local leaders were prepared for Hurricane Ian, it appears the storm will not directly hit Georgia.

As of press time, after making landfall on Florida’s west coast on Wednesday, Sept. 28, Hurricane Ian has been downgraded to a tropical storm and is expected to make a second landfall in South Carolina. The storm is expected to weaken inland overnight on Friday before dissipating on Saturday.

Forsyth County was originally projected to be in the path of the storm, though now only areas in south and east Georgia are expected to be impacted by rain.

Through Thursday evening, Forsyth County is in a wind advisory, meaning sustained wind speeds of 20-30 MPH with wind gusts up to 40 MPH possible. 

Original story below

Forsyth County, like most of the state, is  likely in for some stormy weather this weekend as Hurricane Ian makes landfall.

On Tuesday, Sept. 27, Gov. Brian Kemp announced a state of emergency order for all counties in Georgia will begin at 7 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29 in preparation of the storm. Hurricane Ian is expected to make landfall on Florida’s west coast by Wednesday evening, according to information from the National Hurricane Center on Tuesday.

In Forsyth County, leaders are already preparing for the storm, according to Chris Grimes, director of the county’s emergency management agency.

“We started sharing information several days ago with our partner agencies so they could begin thinking about how they want to prepare,” Grimes said on Tuesday. “Obviously, with hurricanes things change and can change forecast to forecast or over time, which is what we’ve seen with this storm, but we do still expect to see some impacts here in north Georgia.”

According to a news release from the county government, Forsyth could see 2-3 inches of rain and wind gusts 30-40 MPH as early as Friday morning, though the forecast could change.

Grimes said he met with several partner agencies – including the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, Forsyth County Fire Department, University of North Georgia and others – on Tuesday, and daily meetings will continue through the storm.

He said the county has also been in contact with power companies in the area and Red Cross ahead of the storm.

“Hurricanes are a time when people really need to be looking to prepare for high winds and impacts from high winds,” Grimes said. “So, whether that be trees that would come down or loss of power, those are really the impacts we expect to see with this storm.”

Grimes advised that Sawnee EMC and Georgia Power have online outage maps and ways for customers to report outages online.

Residents can also sign up for emergency and weather alerts from the county at www.forsythco.com/Departments-Offices/Emergency-Management-Agency/Weather.

According to the EMA’s website, during storms and other emergencies, residents are encouraged to get together a disaster supply kit with water, food and other emergency items.

Here’s what should go in the emergency kit:

 Disaster Supply Kit

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Emergency Preparedness Guide
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, toilet paper, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
  • Local maps
  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Non-prescription medications (fever, pain relievers, anti-diarrhea, etc.)
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper - When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Thermometer
  • Fluids with Electrolytes
  • Cleansing agent
  • Soap
  • Vitamins
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels

Additional Items to Consider Adding to a Disaster Supplies Kit:

  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. You can use the EFFAK (Emergency Financial First Aid Kit) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information
  • Cash or traveler's checks and change
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container - Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children