Early County first responders brace for Hurricane Michael's impact

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BLAKELY, Ga. (WTVY) - Early County may see the worst part of Hurricane Michael for the whole Wiregrass, and emergency management is doing their best to make sure residents are prepared.

Several businesses in Blakely were closed up the day before Hurricane Michael hits the Wiregrass, and one had even boarded some of their windows.

One place that wasn't closed up was the EMA building.

County leaders came together for two meetings on Tuesday to discuss the plan for handling the storm.

At the first meeting, they decided to close Early County schools for the rest of the week.

In the afternoon meeting, they decided to enforce a curfew, starting tomorrow night at 6 p.m. until noon on Thursday.

Authorities are hoping the curfew will not only keep people safe, but also give them time to assess the damage without a lot of vehicles on the road.

"There will definitely be a lot of clean-up that will need to be done after the storm,” said Early County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Tim Hardrick. “That's one of the reasons that we're asking that anyone that don't need to be on the road to stay off the road so that the people that need to get in to do the cleaning up will be able to get in and do it safely and quickly."

They also chose to open up a comfort station at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Early County High School.

"It's somewhere you go just to get out of the weather and everything,” said Early County EMA Director Tony Gentry. “You bring your own supplies. You bring your drinks, your medicine, your bedding, and we don't have to have Red Cross to run a comfort station."

You do need the Red Cross and the health department to open a shelter, which takes a lot more personnel.

Gentry said, depending on the damage, they may opt to make the comfort station a shelter after the storm.

For more information on the comfort station, contact the Early County EMA.

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