It took less than 24 hours for the Glynn County government to officially determine Hurricane Dorian left the Golden Isles practically unscathed.
“The damage is minimal. We had enough wind, gusts and rain. With all the trees we have in Glynn County, I think everyone knew we were going to have some downed trees and limbs,” said county commission Chairman Mike Browning.
The county’s damage assessment backed up the claim, which concluded the county suffered “very little to no damage” after officials conducted a “windshield survey” of 30 neighborhoods in all parts of the county.
Dorian did knock out power for just over 10,000 residents, but service had been restored to all by 4 p.m. last Thursday — within hours of the storm’s passage — according to Matthew Coleman, external affairs director for the utility.
Because the storm stayed mostly out at sea, Georgia Power was able to repair most outages as they happened, Coleman said last week.
“We didn’t have any damage from surf hitting our beaches and sand dunes. Flooding, I mean we had flooding and high tides, but I don’t know that it really did much damage,” Browning said. “We had free-flowing traffic 24 hours a day all across the county, so we were good.”
According to utility officials, the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission came out fine as well.
“We had some sporadic power outages throughout the day on Wednesday (of last week), but Georgia Power did a good job of keeping on top of that throughout the day,” said Andrew Burroughs, JWSC interim executive director.
When asked whether he thought the response to Dorian might have been too strong given the impact it had, Glynn County EMA Specialist Alec Eaton said the government has to do the best it can with the information it has.
“We deal with the most educated and highest professional meteorologists, and we have to make our decisions based on their forecasting. We have to make our decisions based on their best guesses, and we have to err on the side of caution,” Eaton said. “We have to use that information to recommend people the best course of action that they can take.“
Dorian hugged the coast of Georgia just far enough offshore to be a nuisance, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Cordero.
A few miles west, and it could have flattened Glynn County.
It was based on that worst-case scenario that most plans were made.
“That was the mantra for this storm, was ‘It’s a game of miles,’” Eaton said.
Just two weeks after Dorian slid by the Isles, a tropical depression has formed near the Bahamas and is expected to strengthen into a tropical storm Saturday and then become a hurricane in the coming days.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Bahamian islands already bashed by Hurricane Dorian could experience heavy winds and rain over the weekend.
On Friday night, the storm was centered about 155 miles east-southeast of Great Abaco Island and moving northwest at 8 mph. It had maximum sustained winds of 30 mph.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for the northwestern Bahamas, excluding Andros Island. Forecasters expect the Bahamas to get 2 to 4 inches of rain through Sunday.
A tropical storm watch is posted for central Florida’s eastern coast.
No warnings have been posted for the Georgia coast. According to the National Hurricane Center’s latest report, heavy rainfall and flash flooding is possible this weekend along the coasts of Georgia, Florida and South Carolina.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.