Lowndes Co. announces curfew due to ‘extremely dangerous’ Irma winds

3:57 p.m Monday, Sept. 11, 2017 AJC Homepage

The curfew in Lowndes County was lifted at 3:30 p.m., so residents can now travel around the Valdosta area.

Original (published at 9:22 a.m., Sept. 11, 2017):

Lowndes County announced a curfew for all of its residents until further notice because of conditions created by Tropical Storm Irma.

“Wind speeds to include gusts have reached a level at which it is extremely dangerous for anyone to be on the road,” an alert from the county said.

The county said residents must stay off the roads but did not mention a punishment for breaking curfew  like the Chatham County sheriff did in his annoucement.

About 15 minutes earlier, the head of county services recommended to all agencies that it wasn’t safe to have their staff on the roads because of winds caused by Irma.

Ashley Tye said at 8:50 p.m. that winds were steady at 45 mph and gusting about 60 mph.

“There’s probably some gusts higher than that,” he told all the agency leaders assembled inside the county emergency operations center.

County spokeswoman Paige Dukes said that personnel from all agencies are staying parked and temporarily not responding to calls because of the wind.

Sunrise hours earlier Monday revealed that downtown Valdosta seemed to have fared the overnight winds and rain from Irma, which is expected to be a light breeze compared to what’s coming for the South Georgia border community.

More stories from the state line:

Irma evacuees stopped at Georgia visitors center unsure where to go

Irma evacuees flock to Valdosta only to put themselves in storm’s path

The Walmart off I-75 near the Georgia-Florida line is very busy

Valdosta was decorated with many of its own pine needles and small branches, but no one was walking around downtown at first light.

One man wearing an orange plastic poncho trudged through an intersection on his bicycle as traffic lights whipped around ahead.

Gas stations sat boarded up still hours away from the 24 straight hours of winds 50 mph and above slated to hit Valdosta.

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