The Columbus Red Cross was busy Sunday making preparations for an anticipated power outage at the Columbus Civic Center where 570 Glynn County and other Irma evacuees are being housed.
Alex Balkcum, disaster program manager with the Red Cross said Sunday that bag lunches were being prepared in case power goes out in the city. The Red Cross relies on hot meals that are cooked at the Salvation Army.
Balkcum said they’ll also rely on catered sandwiches to pass out to evacuees.
Glynn County evacuees find themselves in the path of Irma after leaving Coastal Georgia before the storm shifted her path west.
The Columbus Fire Department was on standby and was lined up outside the civic center on Sunday afternoon delivering medical supplies to the center. Columbus police are in force there as well along with some Georgia State Defense Force personnel, Balkcum said.
A press release issued by the Columbus mayor Teresa Tomlinson’s office Saturday said Columbus expects to experience 40-60 mph tropical storm-force winds and 4-5 inches of rain Monday. As a result, the Columbus Consolidated Government (CCG) will be closed on Monday, with only essential service personnel being required to report.
The closure includes the Muscogee County court system. CCG encouraged private businesses and organizations to likewise cancel all non-essential services.
The fire and EMS department in Columbus will be staffed and is prepared to respond to emergency needs. Personnel will not be responding during the height of the severe weather and will resume emergency responses as soon as it is safe to do so.
Effective Sunday at 11 p.m. through Monday, all citizens were urged to stay off the roadways.
In addition to the civic center shelter, CCG will open a second shelter at the Frank Chester Recreational Center for evacuees and those seeking refuge from the storm.