VALDOSTA — Ashley Tye, emergency management director, said Hurricane Michael could be a Category 5 storm before it hits landfall with sustained winds of 145 mph.
"This is the strongest storm to ever impact this particular area of the Gulf Coast in recorded history, since 1851," Tye said in a statement. "The impacts forecasted for our area remain relatively unchanged."
There are currently no curfews in effect nor are there any plans to impose a curfew. County officials are encouraging everyone to stay off of the roads as much as reasonably possible.
Most of the county is at risk of seeing wind gusts up to 73 mph. The extreme Northwest corner of the county is shaded on weather maps as possibly seeing gusts up to 85 mph. This would be the Hahira area and points north and west of there, he said.
The storm's speed did not pick up as expected, so the timing for tropical storm conditions will be later in the day, beginning around 2 p.m., Tye said.
Park Avenue Methodist Church remains open as a shelter for those without adequate shelter to withstand the high winds, such as those in mobile homes. The church still had openings as of Wednesday morning.
Tye said the Emergency Operations Center is fully staffed and ready to begin response activities once the storm conditions begin to impact the area.
If anyone needs assistance they are encouraged to contact the EOC directly at (229) 671-2790.