Regional News

White County is as prepared as can be for Irma


County and City officials gather for Hurricane Irma preparedness meeting Friday in White County

(Cleveland) – White County is as prepared as it can be for whatever Hurricane Irma may bring to our area.  White County, City of Cleveland and Helen officials met Friday morning getting the latest update on the storm and how it might affect our county.

White County Public Safety Director David Murphy said, “because we have had history from other hurricanes, we know we can have issues with high wind damage, heavy rains, and tornadoes, so we want to be on the forefront and as prepared as we can to provide services as that takes place.”

Murphy asks all citizens to have an emergency plan and a 3 day supply (food, water, essentials) and don’t travel at all during the storm.

With more and more people seeking shelter in our area from the south it is draining the fuel supplies, but Murphy advises  ” don’t panic”.  ” We need to conserve as much as we can so we can keep a supply for our emergency responders to get out and help folks,” said Murphy

White County has established what is called  Safe Haven/Comfort Shelters that are designed for persons to take refuge from storm related events.  Those who live in sub-standard housing, mobile homes or RV’s who may feel threatened due to weather conditions or the potential there of.

Donald Nelligan KI4MZC, member of White County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) checking equipment at White County Emergency Operation Center. (photo/

Murphy said they will be updating city and county personnel as well as volunteers about the storm throughout the weekend.

Along with county and city officials who will be working to serve and protect during this storm, there is a large number of volunteers like Community Emergency Response Team  (CERT) and Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) groups that will be working.

Below is information concerning the Safe Haven/Comfort Shelters.


South – Friendship Baptist Church
3513 Westmoreland Rd, Cleveland, GA 30528
Phone:  (706) 865-0722

Central – White County Emergency Operations Center
1241 Helen Hwy, Cleveland, GA 30528
Phone: (706) 865-9500

North – Mt Yonah Elementary School
1161 Duncan Bridge Rd, Sautee Nacoochee, GA 30571
Phone: (706) 865-3514

Conditions that will warrant activation:

1) Weather Service Alerts or Warnings for Severe Weather – Tornadoes or Damaging Winds

2) Storm Prediction Center issuing a Tornado Watch for White County

3)  Local Officials determination based on ground conditions and activity.

What to bring:

1)  Snacks for you and your family.

2)  Medications

3)  Activities for kids and yourself.

4)  Any immediate essentials for you and your family.

Questions regarding these safe havens may be directed to: White County EMA @ 706-865-9500 and after hours @ 24HR Dispatch Center 706-865-0911

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