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Ida should bring heavy rain

By now, Tropical Storm Ida is making its presence known in Covington County with high winds and heavy rains.

County commissioners met Monday afternoon in an emergency meeting to declare a state of local emergency as Ida approached the county.

County EMA director Susan Carpenter updated the commissioners and said the National Weather Service is predicting an estimated 3-6 inches of rain locally and winds between 35 to 40 miles per hour between 9 p.m. Monday and 6 a.m. today.

Monday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center reported the storm had maximum sustained winds near 70 miles per hour and was traveling at 18 miles per hour. However that speed was expected to slow overnight before making an eastward turn in the early morning hours today.

“We especially need to watch out for that southwest corner of the storm,” she said. “And at first they said Covington County wasn’t expecting tornadic activity, but they have revised that. The county needs to be prepared for tornadoes.

“What has us concerned is that, models show the storm is expected to make landfall and then make a turn east,” she said. “Then it’s expected to slow, which means for us, we could possibly see more rain. We had hoped it would move through quickly, not now we’re not so sure.”

The NHC said the storm is expected to weaken as it moves over cooler waters prior to making landfall and is expected to merge with another system on Wednesday.