Auburn, Lee County placed under Tropical Storm Watch; Classes canceled Monday

Auburn, Lee County placed under Tropical Storm Watch; Classes canceled Monday
Auburn, Lee County placed under Tropical Storm Watch; Classes canceled Monday

10 September, 2017

Power outages are possible as early as Sunday night through Tuesday morning. The latest track has is shifting a little farther west.

After a deadly churn through the Caribbean, deadly Hurricane Irma is striking the US, lashing the Florida Keys before moving up the Gulf Coast on course for rarely hit Tampa.

Irma stretches almost 350 miles wide and the National Weather Service is advising residents of the Florida Keys who have not evacuated to hunker down and shelter in place.

Forecasters anticipate the storm's center will track near Columbus Monday night but the storm will continue to impact the state into Tuesday. This includes: Eufaula, Opelika, Phenix City, Auburn, Columbus, LaGrange, Cusseta, Buena Vista, Butler and Americus. A second statement, issued at 7:32 a.m., also upgraded Saturday's tropical storm watch for most of central and north Georgia to a tropical storm warning.

The National Weather Service has issued Tropical Storm and Hurricane warnings for the Big Bend, Southwest Georgia and the Florida Panhandle.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Baker, Berrien, Brooks, Calhoun, Clay, Coastal Franklin, Colquitt, Cook, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Gadsden, Grady, Inland Dixie, Inland Franklin, Inland Jefferson, Inland Taylor, Inland Wakulla, Lafayette, Lanier, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Lowndes, Madison, Miller, Mitchell, Quitman, Randolph, Seminole, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, and Worth counties.

"The strongest winds are likely to be east of an Auburn-to-Clayton line".

North Alabama is also under a tropical storm watch.

As of 7:30 a.m., the hurricane was located 690 miles south-southeast of Atlanta with winds of 130 mph, and it was moving northwest at 8 mph.

High winds are a concern for Northeast Georgia, the western Upstate of SC, and the southern mountains of North Carolina Monday afternoon through the evening.

With the rotation of the then-Tropical Storm Irma continuing through the day on Monday, winds are expected to change direction from the north-northeast to out of the north-northwest and then eventually out of the south-southwest as they settle down to a range of 20 miles per hour to 30 miles per hour.

In addition to the wind, Irma could bring several inches of rain to parts of the state.

There is also the possibility of an isolated tornado.

In east-central Alabama rain totals could range from 1-3 inches, with higher amounts farther east. "Landslides in the mountains are possible as well if we see 4-6" of rain in some locations.

Although the circulation of Irma will move over Alabama, the tornado risk is on the lower side, according to the weather service.

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