The Golden Isles sustained very little damage from Hurricane Michael, according to county and utility officials.
Michael hit the Florida panhandle Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service. By that evening, heavy wind and rain reached Glynn County. Remnants of the storm continued to impact South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia into Thursday evening, according to the NWS.
On Twitter, the NWS characterized Michael’s landfall as a “worst case scenario” for Florida and — based on the NWS’ earlier predictions — it could have hit the Isles harder than it did, said county Emergency Management Director Jay Wiggins.
“We were just blessed. It could have been so much worse. With the storm tracking the way it was, it could have been worse,” Wiggins said.
The weather service warned county officials that the Golden Isles could suffer some serious impacts from the storm, he said.
“We’re fortunate it’s not as bad as it could have been,” Wiggins said.
While the impact to the county was minimal, Wiggins said it was a good opportunity for government and utility agencies to work better together in a crisis.
“I think the more you experience and go through things like this, the better your team members are at responding to it,” Wiggins said.
He also expressed appreciation for Glynn County residents.
“It’s not just our government team, our (emergency operations center) team, it’s the community itself that steps up and makes it... I don’t want to say ‘so much easier,’ but it does. They rally around us and support us,” Wiggins said.
Somewhere around 200 Georgia Power customers lost electricity in the area during Hurricane Michael, far away from the 39,000 who lost power during and after Hurricane Irma.
“We had a little bit over a couple hundred customers out over (Wednesday) night. We got just about everyone back on that night,” Georgia Power Area Manager Paulo Albuquerque said Thursday morning. “Our area was blessed and did not get hit, so we’re in the process of finishing out and relocating our resources to areas that were harder hit.”
He said power was “completely restored in Glynn County” as of 5 p.m. Thursday
Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission Administration Director Jay Sellers said water and sewer systems were functioning as normal as of noon Thursday.
Glynn County Public Works officials confirmed Thursday morning that no county roads or bridges would be closed as a result of Hurricane Michael.
The St. Simons Island Pier remained closed into Thursday afternoon, not opening until 4:10 p.m. Ben Pierce, public works roads and drainage division manager, said earlier Thursday that the county wanted to wait for the wind to die down as a safety precaution.
The roads public works inspected look good, Pierce said. A pine tree fell across a road in Gascoigne Park, but not much otherwise, he said.
Pierce said the county saw little damage to county property.
“We finished looking at the remainder of the structures, and there’s really nothing that’s cause for concern from a safety perspective,” Pierce said Thursday evening.
A beach access at Neptune Park will need to be repaired, however. Pierce said public works could likely do it in-house for around $1,000.
“We did see the beach crossing access in front of Neptune Park. The steps, I took a look at it this morning, it looks like the tide surge dislodged the steps and brought them up on the rocks,” Pierce said. “... Looks like one of those old structures not built according to current standards.”
An announcement from the county stated it will not be conducting county-wide debris pickup because a federally-declared state of emergency did not apply to Glynn County.
Residents can request yard debris pickup by calling county customer service at 912-554-7111 or Republic Services at 912-267-6400 if they live in the city of Brunswick.
Trash pickup is expected to maintain its normal schedule, the release stated.