McDuffie County prepares for Hurricane Irma evacuees
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As a result of Hurricane Irma, the McDuffie County Emergency Management Agency is preparing for an influx of evacuees from Florida and the Georgia Coastline arriving Saturday, Sept. 9, and possibly staying until Wednesday, Sept. 13.
There are three shelters that will be opened when needed to care for the 500 to more than 1,000 people that are expected to enter McDuffie County. EMA will first open the gym at Sweetwater Park, 180 Sweetwater Road, just off Hwy. 17 in Thomson. If needed, the gym at First Baptist Church will be opened for overflow and then the National Guard Armory. The first shelter will be available at 2 p.m., Sept. 9, and the Red Cross will provide cots and possibly food. If the Red Cross is unable to provide food, local preparations will be made available. The Georgia Emergency Management Agency will provide mobile showers to the Sweetwater Gym.
The American Red Cross is hosting a training session for those interested in volunteering at the shelters from 9 a.m. to noon on Sept. 9 at the McDuffie County EMA headquarters at 1061 Salem Road in Thomson.
All hotels in McDuffie County are at capacity. For evacuees with RVs not needing hookups, the lower parking area at the Little League Fields at Sweetwater Park will be available.
Pinetop, Happy Valley Farms and Belle Meade Hunt are making spaces available for evacuees with horses. The McDuffie Animal Shelter, at 802 White Oak Road in Thomson, is at capacity for large dogs, but small and medium-sized dogs, as well as cats, in carriers are welcome as space is available. Food and litter boxes will be available.
The Family Y, at 521 West Hill St. in Thomson, is providing showers and coffee during their regular business hours but no lodging.
With the influx of people anticipated to arrive in the local area, Thomson-McDuffie County law enforcement encourages local residents to stay off city streets and county roads unless absolutely necessary. People with special medical needs are strongly urged to call (706) 595-2922 to notify McDuffie County EMA of their needs and location in the event of needing emergency power or evacuation. The EMA office will be staffed 24/7 during the storm emergency to answer any questions.
Residents are strongly asked not to call 911 if electrical service is interrupted by the storm. Citizens are urged to have the number of their service provider handy if power is lost. Georgia Power customers should report outages or downed power lines by calling 1-888-891-0938. Jefferson Energy Cooperative customers should report outages and downed power lines by calling 1-877-JEFFERSON.









McDuffie Progress




McDuffie Progress

McDuffie Progress





McDuffie Progress