The Golden Isles can expect the remnants of Hurricane Michael to linger through the area today with occasional showers and cloudy skies.
There is a 20 percent chance of rain with winds expected to be around 20 to 25 mph with gusts of up to 35 mph, according to Phil Peterson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jacksonville.
Michael came ashore Wednesday near Panama City Beach, Fla., as a category 4 hurricane, one of the most powerful to hit the U.S. mainland in nearly 50 years, the Associated Press reported.
Based on its internal barometric pressure, Michael was the third most powerful hurricane to blow ashore on the U.S. mainland, behind the unnamed Labor Day storm of 1935 and Camille in 1969. Based on wind speed, it was the fourth-strongest, behind the Labor Day storm, Camille and Andrew in 1992, according to the AP.
While more than 375,000 people along Florida’s panhandle coast were urged to evacuate, Glynn County Emergency Management Director Jay Wiggins said the county will not call for an evacuation, but that residents should shelter in place for the duration of the storm.
Rain may be an issue, but Wiggins said to be aware of the wind. He reminded the public Wednesday that anything that can be blown away by tropical-storm force winds should be moved indoors or otherwise secured. He also recommended everyone stay out of the ocean, as the hurricane to the west and rain bands coming off the Atlantic are expected to generate strong riptides.
The Georgia Department of Transportation closed the Sidney Lanier Bridge at 6 p.m. Wednesday and will reopen after an inspection.
The county did not anticipate closing any roads or bridges as of 8 a.m. Wednesday. Some flooding was expected to occur on the F.J. Torras Causeway, and Wiggins said the county may close one lane of traffic at most.
Facilities owned by Glynn County, the city of Brunswick and the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission are expected to reopen at noon today, weather permitting. In case of a water or sewer-related emergency, call 912-634-0258.
Glynn County Schools and the College of Coastal Georgia will remain closed today and plan to open as normal on Friday. All extracurricular activities are canceled today.
Glynn County Sheriff Neal Jump said Wednesday that the Glynn County Courthouse will be closed in the morning, but may open in the afternoon today with a skeleton crew. All Glynn County Detention Center visitations are canceled for today, he said.
Georgia Power Regional Director Paulo Albuquerque said Wednesday the utility is expecting tropical-storm force winds similar to Tropical Storm Hermine in 2016. He encouraged residents to ensure they have gas and ventilation for generators and to report downed power lines to the utility. He also asked those who need power for life support to contact Georgia Power.
The state Department of Natural Resources pulled its boats out of the water Tuesday afternoon and will send them back out when the storm passes. A representative from the DNR recommended on Tuesday that no one enter the water until then.
Fort Frederica National Historic Site and Cumberland Island National Seashore will be closed today. Neither Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation nor Fort King George state parks had any plans to close as of 11:40 a.m. Wednesday, according to park staff.
Brantley Family Medicine Center closed Wednesday and plans to open at noon today. Southeast Georgia Health System Brunswick and Camden Campus hospitals and physician practices will remain open and continue to provide full hospital services, according to a release from the health system.
The Golden Isles and McIntosh YMCA locations closed Wednesday at 5 p.m. and, weather permitting, will open at noon today.
Editor’s note: The Associated Press contributed to this story.