LIVE OAK — As it slowly made its way through the Caribbean Sea, Hurricane Dorian continued to remain east and is projected to stay off the Atlantic coast of Florida.
“Here, we may just get a little wind and a little rain, if that,” Sheriff Sam St. John, Suwannee County’s Emergency Management director, said following the latest briefing Tuesday morning.
While most of Florida escaped Dorian’s fury — northeastern Florida is still likely to be impacted by storm surge and possible flooding along the St. John’s River — the Bahamas were hammered by the Category 5 hurricane over the Labor Day weekend.
In the Bahamas there have reportedly been at least five people killed and 21 injured.
Last week, when Dorian’s path was more unknown and even projected to head toward the Suwannee Valley at times, the Suwannee County Board of County Commissioners declared a local state of emergency in an emergency meeting Thursday morning.
That state of emergency is good for seven days and ensured that the county was able to take steps to help mitigate potential damage from Hurricane Dorian.
“Everyone is on edge but I’d rather us be prepared and nothing happen then something happen and we’re not prepared,” St. John said of the preparations that took place. “That’s just part of it. You have to go through the motions and get prepared and then just hope nothing happens, like it did this time.”
St. John said some of the early projections had the storm moving straight up the middle of the state, while there was also forecasts that showed Dorian crossing south Florida into the gulf and then moving back into north Florida.
“That’s why we have those briefings,” he said, adding those early forecasts helped ensure the county took the necessary precautions. “We go by what they’re telling us. There’s just so much uncertainty when they’re that far out. But we go by what they tell us and then act accordingly.”
Also on Thursday, Live Oak Mayor Frank Davis signed a state of emergency declaration for the City of Live Oak on Thursday morning effective until the threat from the storm passes.
During the emergency meeting, it was also decided that the county would provide sand for sandbags at the Live Oak Fire Department’s station on Duval Street as well as Branford’s public works department.