Hurricane Irma — the storm you can’t escape. It was so vast and powerful, people who ended up in Lumber City, Athens and even Selma, Ala., could not escape the effects of the storm.
Ashby Nix Worley said she left Brunswick to stay with family Friday in Lumber City, and after watching Irma shift tracks, decided to stay in Telfair County until the storm blew through the state. There were also a lot of people in vehicles with Florida tags headed that way as well, she said.
Power went out around midnight at their house Monday, though it came back on around a dozen hours later. Nix Worley said the trees in that area are not used to the sort of winds Irma brought with it, forcing trees across yards and roads. Because it’s such a rural area, though, she said the problem is not as bad as it could have been.
Also on Friday, Ruth Cumberland took off from Jekyll Island and arrived in Athens. She also noticed the apparent preponderance of Florida evacuees on the way, trying to get out of the way of the hurricane. Cumberland said the effect of the storm by the time it reached Clarke County was fairly underwhelming, though power went out around 1 p.m. Monday, with winds picking up around 2 p.m., leaving trees down around the city, as well.
Sarah Pittenger, meanwhile, took off for Alabama and said she hopes to return to Brunswick soon. She said she drove as far as Selma — also with a lot of Florida vehicles — before finding a nice RV park and picking a camping site not too close to any trees. Though it rained, Alabama missed most of Irma’s power. Pittenger said she was headed to Lake Eufala, Ala., Tuesday with an eye toward heading back to town today.
The three evacuees — along with everyone else to fled Glynn County — remained in proverbial purgatory this week as county officials continue to block re-entry. Authorities have not yet announced when they will lift the entry ban, which was instated to give emergency workers more room to clear downed trees from roadways and restore power.
Those who remained in Glynn County during Irma only gained access to St. Simons Island on Tuesday afternoon. Jekyll Island remains closed as authorities work to clear roadways, restore power and get the water system online.
People with county-issued Phase 2 re-entry passes are being allowed into Glynn County, as are health care professionals with Southeast Georgia Health System employees with their work IDs and concurring state-issued ID.
Check TheBrunswickNews.com for updates about re-entry.