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County declares emergency in advance of Hurricane Michael (ESPANOL abajo)

Revised on: 10.12.2018 at 03:02 p.m.

Posted on: 10.10.2018 at 04:24 p.m.

Columbus County has declared a state of emergency as Hurricane Michael  threatens to bring high winds and heavy rain across the county.

The Category Four hurricane slammed ashore on the Florida Panhandle Wednesday afternoon, and will bring tropical storm conditions to the area through Friday morning. While the storm is expected to significantly weaken before it reaches Columbus County, Michael is one of the strongest and most destructive storms ever to hit the United States.

Local impacts are expected to include downed trees and power lines, along with minor flooding. Residents still dealing with debris from Hurricane Florence are urged to secure all materials before the storm arrives.

Shelters will open Thursday at 8 a.m. at Edgewood Elementary and West Columbus High School. Edgewood is the county’s only pet-friendly shelter.

According to the National Weather Service, the county should begin experiencing tropical storm force winds around noon Thursday, with conditions remaining dangerous for approximately 12 hours. Rainfall from two to six inches is anticipated  through Friday afternoon, and some flooding is expected.

A major concern is the threat of tornadoes from the early morning hours of Thursday through Friday morning.

All county offices are closed Thursday and Friday. County schools are closed Thursday, and officials will decide Thursday whether to open on Friday. Columbus charter School is closed Thursday and Friday.

The county has established an Emergency Operations Center, and residents may report downed trees, power lines flooding or other hazards by calling 642.8193 or 641.7684. People requiring transportation are also asked to call the same numbers.

Officials have asked that 911 calls be restricted to life-threatening emergencies only.

Stay with for continuing coverage of the storm and its aftermath.


Es probable que vientos de fuerza peligrosa lleguen jueves al mediodia y sigan durante 12 horas. Tornados pueden ocurrir entre jueves y viernes por la manana.

Lluvia de entre dos y seis pulgadas puede acumular antes de jueves por la tarde, causando inundaciones.

Refugios de emergencia estan abiertos en West Columbus High School (Cerro Gordo) y Edgewood Elementary School (Whiteville). Solo el refugio en Edgewood acepta animales mascotas. La gente que necesita transporte para llegar al refugio debe llamar o 642-8193 o 641-7684. Llame a los oficiales del condado en los mismos numeros para avisar de arboles caidos, inundaciones u otros peligros.

No llame 911 a menos que una emergencia le amenace la vida a alguien.



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07:2718:30 EDT
Feels like: 48°F
Wind: 0mph SE
Humidity: 91%
Pressure: 30.21"Hg
UV index: 0

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