9:50 A.M. — Mayor Teresa Tomlinson’s Office confirms to News 3 the Red Cross community shelter for Hurricane Irma evacuees will now be moved to the Columbus Civic Center.
News 3’s Ken Martin is at the shelter while volunteers set up. They say the decision to set up the shelter was made by the American Red Cross after consulting with Columbus government officials.
They also confirm pets will be allowed into the shelter as well while their hunker down in the Civic Center. Pets will be housed in the upper levels of the shelter while people will be allowed in on lower levels.
Mayor Tomlinson’s Office also confirms the Georgia Emergency Management Agency has put the Columbus Search and Rescue Task Force 4 ALPHA on alert to be deployed to areas impacted by Irma.
COLUMBUS, Ga. — One Columbus shelter plans to open its doors Friday ahead of Hurricane Irma’s arrival in the U.S.
Columbus is expected to experience some of the outer rain bands associated with Irma as the storm is projected to move in portions of the southeast. At times, the storms could reach severe limits and can’t rule out some localized flooding. These storms are expected to be in the valley Monday morning.
According to the mayor’s office, the Frank Chester Recreation Center will be opening up Friday at noon as a shelter to those coming in town to escape Irma. The Frank Chester Recreation Center is located at 1441 Benning Drive.
Thursday night, Mayor Teresa Tomlinson posted on her Facebook page a list of steps you can take to protect your life and property. Those steps are:
- Stay off roads during heavy rains.
- Do not drive through standing water.
- Secure or move inside any outdoor furniture, planters, trash cans or other outdoor items that may become projectiles in high winds.
- Monitor storm drains and remove debris that clusters around the drain as the rains begin.
- If your basement is prone to flooding, monitor it regularly and take steps now to borrow, rent or acquire a pump.
- Prepare for prolonged power outages by having flashlights, candles (use with CAUTION!), and food that needs no heat preparation.
- Maintain batteries for a radio and charge your cell phone ahead of time.
- Purchase enough bottled water to last one day.
- Property insurance does not typically cover flood damage – Talk to your insurance provider about your policy and consider if you need additional coverage.
- Place valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container on the highest level of your home.