Local officials watching Tropical Storm Colin closely
City and county officials are monitoring Tropical Storm Colin as it makes its way through the region today.
Shayne Morgan, Columbia County emergency management director, said the incoming storm will be developing throughout the afternoon and there is no clear indication yet as to what kind of impact it will have.
The National Weather Service says up to 10 inches of rain is possible here accompanied by winds up to 55 mph.
“I am looking at having some agency partners in. I have the sheriff’s office, fire department — they will come in and be a part of an activation team this afternoon that will hopefully be for nothing,” Morgan said.
The team will be prepared to respond to any possible weather-related emergencies including preparations for flash flooding and possible tornado activity.
Keeping an eye on the weather forecast as the storm develops is Morgan’s main suggestion. Since the storm is not defined yet, rain has been scattered all over Florida throughout the morning.
“Just make sure to be safe. If you can avoid traveling tonight as the weather comes in, you want to do that,” Morgan said. “Be prepared if you lose power, maybe have some alternate places you can stay.”
County emergency management is working with the city to prepare for any emergency situations, according to Lake City Public Works Director Thomas Henry.
Henry said the city has crews checking storm drains and inspecting ditches.
Public works is getting trucks and chainsaws ready in case any trees fall and need to be removed, he said.
Sometime after noon, the city will decide if it needs to engage in any other emergency operations, he added.
"Right now, we're just watching," Henry said. "Just gearing up for the storm."
If the storm becomes severe enough, the city might distribute around 10 sandbags to each homeowner to help secure their properties, but has not currently decided to do so.
"That's our basic routine," he said. "And praying to God we don't get any tornados."
According to the National Weather Service, dangerous winds may pass through Lake City this evening. Homeowners in the storm's path are advised to clear their yards of any debris, such as furniture.