Sheriff Ben Stewart would like to bring to the attention of all citizens and communities that the National Weather Service as recent as this morning has reported that tropical Storm Hermine is continuing to develop and is expected to escalate to a category 1 hurricane at land fall.
Hermine is expected to make landfall during the late night of Thursday, Sept. 1 or early morning hours of Friday, Sept. 2.
Tropical winds and rain are expected as early as this afternoon and Sheriff Stewart encourages all citizens to prepare for the storm now and remain at home, stay inside and off the roadways during the storm. Sheriff Stewarts reminds all citizens that even after the storm passes, it is safer to remain inside and off the roadways and to further exercise the utmost caution around downed trees and power lines until proper authorities have cleared the obstructions and made the area safe.
A community shelter, staffed by the Red Cross and Health Department is opening today, Sept. 1, at 4 p.m., at the Madison County Central School for those seeking shelter during the storm.
The Sheriff’s Office has initiated a heightened level of additional personnel before, during and after the storm and is strategically positioning these officers in specific areas of the county for emergency needed response.
However, citizens should be mindful that during the storm, the Sheriff’s Office will be triaging calls for response to those that relate to urgency and the nature of life or death. The Sheriff’s Office will not be available for response to routine calls such as house alarms, locked vehicles, civil calls in nature, etc., due to the expected increased level of calls related to the storm.
The Sheriff’s Office 911 Communications Center is also expected to be at a heightened level of additional personnel to receive calls and make notations of blocked roads and downed power lines to relay the information to the appropriate divisions.
However, citizens must be mindful and expect a delay in response considering the expected impact and the path of Hermine as it relates to Madison County.