JENKINS COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – Some of the southern counties of the CSRA are gearing up for what could be lots of wind and water soon.

Jenkins County leaders wait, watch and prepare for the impact of the storm. Both emergency management and the sheriff told NewsChannel 6 what people need to know to stay safe.

“We’ve got generators ready. Our staff is ready. So now it’s just wait and see,” said Grady Saxon, Jenkins County Administrator & EMA Director.

Hurry up and wait. That’s the name of the game for Saxon and his team.

“Based on the forecasted track of the storm, we’re on the left side of it. So, the likelihood of tornadoes is minimal. Not ruled out, but just minimal. I think we’re going to just watch it and see.”

Crews remain on standby and will respond only if there’s an emergency. Roads are being cleaned, including clearing ditches to handle the flow and removing dead trees ahead of wind and rain. The sheriff, while hoping the storm passes, is prepping too.

“We gone hunker down and go with it. Hopefully, everybody will stay home and not want to get out and see what everything is looking like. We’re fueling up and making sure generators and vehicles are full of fuel and gas and getting water and making sure thinks are tied down,” Sheriff Robert Oglesby said.

More staff will be on hand to field emergency calls. And while some people may need to seek help if the storm hits, the sheriff said think before dialing.

“Stay home. Stay off the roads. If you got to call, limit your calls to 911. Don’t need you to call every few minutes. We’re not going to come out. If it’s not life threatening, there’s not going to be people coming out removing trees off the road while the storm is going on,” Sheriff Oglesby added.

The EMA Director also said in the event that the storm does come through this area, there is a shelter already set to go with a generator and cots.

Students will not attend school Wednesday. The district sent the following information:

Out of an abundance of caution and based on weather forecasts from the National Hurricane Center, the Jenkins County School System will be closed on Wednesday, August 30, 2023, due to the approaching Hurricane Idalia. We will send out an update for Thursday at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

Photojournalist: Gary Hipps