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High winds headed to Northeast Georgia
Storm brings chance of rain, thunderstorms or tornadoes
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Preparing for the storm

The Red Cross recommends individuals and families prepare by:

Making a home disaster plan: Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a thunderstorm. This should be away from windows, skylights and glass doors that could be broken by strong winds or hail.

Prepare a survival kit: Keep supplies needed to survive for a minimum of three days, including bottled water, nonperishable foods for family and pets, sleeping bags or bedding, extra clothes, medicine, flashlights, a battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit, and a manual can opener. For a complete list of items, visit www.ready.ga.gov.

Protect your animals: Ensure that any outside buildings that house them are protected in the same way as your home. Remove animals from vulnerable dog houses and similar small structures.

Heeding storm warnings: A severe storm watch means severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area. People in a watch area should keep informed and be ready to act if a severe thunderstorm warning is issued. A severe storm warning means severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be in danger from lightning. Seek shelter immediately. The National Weather Service recommends staying inside for at least 30 minutes after the last thunder clap.

Preparing for high winds: If you have time, secure lawn furniture, outdoor decorations, trash cans, hanging plants and anything else that can be picked up by wind.

Source: Red Cross of Northeast Georgia

The storm headed for North Georgia today is likely to include high winds, the National Weather Service said, and the local Red Cross is urging preparedness.

“Damaging winds expected across the higher elevations of Northeast Georgia,” the Peachtree City-based weather service said in a weather alert.

Strong winds are expected to increase through the morning hours, accompanied by showers and a few thunderstorms, the weather service said.

“Very strong winds will be possible outside of any shower or thunderstorm activity,” the weather alert said. “Recent rains and the anticipated heavy rainfall from this system will allow for trees to be uprooted with greater ease.

“The saturated ground may allow for some flooding of low-lying areas or flood-prone areas.”

The rain could be good for Lake Lanier, but a mix of warm and cool air could create the potential for isolated tornadoes.

Southwesterly winds are expected to strengthen to between 30 and 40 miles per hour with gusts as high as 50 mph, the weather service said.

“Winds this strong can make driving difficult,” the advisory said, “especially for high-profile vehicles,” such as vans and SUVs.

“We’re entering the time of year when the weather can become very unstable and unpredictable,” said Joni Smith, executive director of the Northeast Georgia Red Cross. “The Red Cross urges Georgia families to prepare ahead of time in order to reduce fear and to save precious time and lives during severe weather events.”

The Red Cross recommends making a home disaster plan, creating an emergency preparedness kit, heeding storm warnings and, if time permits, securing outside objects that could be picked up by the wind.

After the storm, Thursday should be sunny but cooler, with a high of 48 and a low of 32. Winds are expected to be somewhat calmer at 10-to-15 mph with gusts to 25 mph. The weekend also looks to be sunny, with highs in the high 40s to low 50s and lows in the low to mid-30s.

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