Heat Concerns Rise Locally as Tropical Storm Threatens Georgia Coastline

Residents in the greater Robeson County area should brace for continued extreme heat over the next few days. While there may be a slight cooling effect from possible rainstorms, forecasters are advising everyone to find effective ways to stay cool. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides valuable tips on page 2C for coping with the heat.

LUMBERTON — An Atlantic tropical storm system, currently unnamed and referred to as Disturbance 1, is making its way toward the Georgia coastline. This storm has been gaining strength over the past few days, now with a 60% chance of developing into a hurricane, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

High Temperatures Dominate Local Forecast

Locally, the primary concern is the very high temperatures expected in the Greater Robeson County area over the next few days. According to the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Wilmington, hot and humid weather is forecasted to continue from this weekend into the middle of next week, with heat indices possibly reaching Heat Advisory levels (105+ degrees) on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

For Saturday, there is a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2 p.m., with mostly sunny skies and a high near 95 degrees. The heat index values could reach as high as 101 degrees. Winds will be calm, becoming south around 6 mph in the afternoon.

Sunday’s forecast includes a 40% chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2 p.m., with mostly sunny skies and a high near 95 degrees. Southwest winds could reach up to 9 mph, with gusts as high as 16 mph.

Record Heat and Historical Data

The record high for June 22 was set in 2015 at 102 degrees. Record highs for June 23 and 24 were set in 2010 and 2015, respectively, both reaching 100 degrees. The average high for the next few days is expected to be 90 degrees, according to the NWS.

Preparation Tips from Duke Energy

Duke Energy advises residents to prepare for potential hurricanes and severe storms with the following tips:

  • Emergency Supply Kit: Create or update an emergency supply kit with essentials needed for at least two weeks, including medicines, water, nonperishable foods, and other hard-to-find items post-storm. Visit Ready.gov for more tips.
  • Family Safety Plan: Have a plan to move family members, especially those with special needs, to a safe, alternate location if an extended power outage occurs.

During the Storm

  • Electrical Equipment: If an outage occurs, disconnect or turn off nonessential electrical equipment to avoid circuit overload when power is restored.
  • Refrigerators and Freezers: Minimize opening refrigerators or freezers to prevent food from thawing quickly.

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In an additional measure to aid residents, a new community cooling center will open this weekend in Lumberton. The center aims to provide a cool and safe space for those without adequate air conditioning. It will offer free water, air-conditioned spaces, and health monitoring services.

As Georgia faces the dual challenge of extreme heat and an approaching tropical storm, residents are urged to stay informed and prepared, ensuring their safety and well-being during this period of severe weather conditions.

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