Savannah Emergency Crews Tackle Damage From Tropical Storm Hermine
Savannah’s 911 Dispatch Center received more than 2,400 calls for service Friday, after Tropical Storm Hermine crossed Southeast Georgia.
City officials say the major impact of the storm was from downed trees and power lines caused by heavy winds. Georgia Power officials say over 100,000 people experienced outages across the state, the majority in Savannah and Brunswick, according to The Savannah Morning News.
Several roads in Savannah and surrounding areas closed due to downed lines and fallen debris. There have been multiple reports of trees falling on homes and vehicles.
Numerous streets in Savannah also flooded after ongoing heavy rains.
The National Hurricane Center says strong winds will continue through Saturday morning and could reach up to 50 miles per hour. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles (295 km), mainly to the south and east of the center. All Southeast Georgia counties are under a tropical storm warning.
The City of Savannah issued the following statement:
Savannah responds to Tropical Storm Hermine
Savannah emergency crews remained busy throughout Friday responding to the impacts of heavy rain and wind brought by Tropical Storm Hermine.
The 911 Dispatch Center received more than 2,400 calls for service throughout Friday; another 300 came in through the City's 311 non-emergency service center.
The major impact of the storm was from downed trees and power lines caused by heavy winds with gusts up to 60 mph.
As of 3:30 p.m. Friday, Savannah Park and Tree had received 91 calls for service, including roughly two dozen downed trees and a number of fallen limbs. Fourteen public works crews were in the field using chains saws, log loaders and jet vac trucks to clear roadways and drainage inlets. SCMPD officers and Savannah Fire personnel were out in force throughout the day, responding to 1,516 incidents.
Power outages were reported across the community, affecting thousands of homes and dozens of traffic lights at 30 intersections. Backup power kept City water and sewer wells and lift stations operational, ensuring no disruption in service.
Stormwater crews worked through the night to man pump stations during heavy bands of rain. At the peak of the rain in the pre-dawn hours, the DeRenne Avenue Pump Station operated six pumps, which moved nearly half a million gallons of stormwater per minute down the Casey South Canal.
Throughout the event, no storm-related injuries or structural flooding were reported.
The bulk of the City's emergency and public works functions were coordinated through the City's Emergency Coordination Center, where key personnel shared information and assets to respond to rapidly evolving conditions in the field.
"I am very proud of how our first responders came together today to protect our citizens and property," said Savannah Emergency Management Director David Donnelly. "While Savannah was spared the worst of the storm, we were impacted with heavy winds, which will keep our crews busy for several days. Our employees deserve our thanks."