EMA: Don’t turn back on Isaac

Published 12:03 am Thursday, August 23, 2012

Shown is the cone projection of Tropical Storm Isaac’s potential path. Courtesy NOAA


Forecasters are watching as Tropical Storm Issac, which could become a hurricane as early as today, makes its slow approach toward the U.S.

Today, the storm with its 45 mph sustained winds is expected to cross Puerto Rico, and while it’s too early to tell where landfall will occur, local residents are being urged to watch the storm’s development.

“At this point, it doesn’t look like the storm is a threat to Covington County,” said county Emergency Management Agency Director Susan Harris. “But, as always, I will not turn my back on it. It’s worth watching. And like usual, we encourage the public to prepare because you never know.”

It’s advice being taken to heart in Andalusia, where the first storm response planning meeting was planned for Thursday morning.

There is still a lot of uncertainty about the storm’s path. The storm’s center was expected to move over the Leeward Islands on Wednesday evening, and forecasters said it is expected to hit the Dominican Republic as a hurricane early Friday. It is then expected to hit Cuba as a tropical storm. Computer models showed it making landfall somewhere in South Florida by late Sunday or early Monday.

If the area misses the bullet on this storm, there’s another lurking behind Isaac, as the NHC said another tropical depression formed over the eastern tropical Atlantic on Wednesday, about 860 miles west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. It was packing winds of 35 mph and will take the name Joyce if it becomes a tropical storm.

Today, Gov. Robert Bentley will hold a news conference to discuss the launch of new “Ready Alabama” initiatives aimed at increasing statewide disaster preparedness.

The initiatives encourage people across the state to plan ahead for natural disasters. On Thursday, leaders will discuss additional efforts to empower the public with information that will help with preparations.