The National Weather Service Friday night issued a Tropical Storm Watch and a Flash Flood Watch for parts of north Georgia, including the Gainesville area.
They were issued as Tropical Storm Nate continued on a projected path that would bring it into north Georgia today and tomorrow and into Monday. Overnight, the projected path of the storm shifted westward slightly but forecasters say people in north Georgia should remain on alert. "Heavy rainfall, flash flooding, wind gusts over 50 mph, and isolated tornadoes are all possible Sunday afternoon and evening," according a posting on the NWS Peachtree City website. "Power outages can also be expected, mainly over areas north and west of I-85."
Earlier in the day, Jackson EMC activated its Emergency Response Plan in response to the increased likelihood that northeast Georgia will be impacted by the storm.
Officials with the electric co-op said they are closely monitoring the projected forecast of the storm and its potential impact on the region - less than a month after Hurricane Irma left thousands in the dark for days and some homes and businesses damaged or destroyed.
Jackson EMC has its linemen and other support personnel standing ready to respond when needed, according to a press release issued Friday afternoon. Additional support from 15 contractor crews has also been arranged.
JACKSON EMC ELECTRICAL SAFETY TIPS
*Beware of fallen power lines. If you come upon a fallen power line, assume that it is electrically charged. This includes cable TV feeds and telephone lines. Report any downed line to your power company. Report an outage to Jackson EMC at 1-800-245-4044 or by visiting outage.jacksonemc.com.
*Leave it to the professionals. If you feel your house has been damaged, have a licensed electrician check your home.
*If you decide to evacuate, make sure the water and electricity are shut off at your residence.
*Take proper precautions when using a generator if you lose power. Place the generator outside the home, as dangerous carbon monoxide fumes are odorless and can quickly overwhelm you indoors. Also, never connect generators to another power source, such as power lines. The reverse flow of electricity or “backfeed” can electrocute an unsuspecting utility worker.
*Prepare for medical needs, such as having a plan for loved ones who depend on medical equipment that requires electricity. This includes backup power, extra medical supplies and medication, or going to an alternative location until the storm is over.
*In the event of a power outage, check your breaker panels before calling your power company. Check both the main breaker on the inside panel and outside disconnect (usually only found on newer homes) located close to your electric meter. If the breaker is tripped, it will be stopped halfway between "off" and "on." Turn the breaker off first and then back on to reset it. If you still have power in part of your home, check the individual breakers in the panel.
A complete list of items to prepare in homes and businesses before the storm is available on the Jackson EMC website.
More information about storm preparation, reporting outages and a listing of current Jackson EMC outages is also available online.