UGA Extension Viticulture Blog

Update on Hurricane Irma 9-8-2017

I have a new update on Hurricane Irma posted on my Climate blog at http://blog.extension.uga.edu/climate/2017/09/hurricane-irma-update-at-1-pm-on-september-8-for-georgia/. For central and north Georgia, the biggest impact from winds is likely to be Monday night through Tuesday morning, although there could be some windy periods before and after that as spiral bands move through.  Rain for central and north Georgia is likely to be 3-5 inches, most of it during the same period.  That could lead to some localized flooding on roadways.

Because of the wet conditions and high winds along with drought damage to trees from last year and earlier years, I expect to see a lot of power out in northeast Georgia in particular since higher elevations generally see stronger winds.  Estimates of power loss in the northeast mountains is that up to 30% of properties could lose power, but it is lower in other areas in northern Georgia. Roads may also be blocked.  It could take some time to get the power back up, especially in more isolated areas. For accurate information, use the National Hurricane Center at http://www.hurricanes.gov and the National Weather Service at http://www.weather.gov or another trusted source. Always rely on your local county governments and emergency managers for local information about road closures due to trees or flooding.

No  need to panic.  It’s almost always wiser to shelter in place in a wind storm than to evacuate unless you are in a house that floods (like along the coast or in a low-lying area) or if it is not safe in high winds, like a mobile home. Most people are killed in hurricanes from water, not from wind, so be careful driving on flooded roadways.  Remember to “turn around, don’t drown” as the NWS says.