Rome first responders react to Hurricane Irma

First responders discuss preparations for the hurricane and how they plan to assist those affected.

HannahGrace Mann, Viking Fusion Videographer

Hurricane Irma hit Rome, Ga. on Monday, September 11. Irma brought harsh winds and heavy rain, leaving many without power and many trees down in the Floyd County area.

According to the Floyd County Emergency Management, an organization in charge of preparation and reaction to a crisis or disaster, Floyd County is recognized by the National Weather Service as a StormReady community. The National Weather Service defines a StormReady community as one that is “prepared to save lives from the onslaught of severe weather through advanced planning, education and awareness.”

Rodney Bailey, the major over uniform patrol and field operations for the Rome Police Department, explained via telephone the precautions taken by the Rome Police Department. On Thursday, Floyd County policemen began meeting at the Emergency Operating Center, where the Floyd County Emergency Management meets, to have live weather briefings with Peachtree City and develop a contingency plan.

During the briefings, the hurricane’s track and time-line were watched carefully. Briefings were held twice a day from Thursday to Sunday, and Major Bailey states they were planning for “major impact.”

On Monday, the Rome Police Department decided to implement their contingency plan, where all officers were put on twelve hour shifts. Over the span of Monday and Tuesday, there were 30 officers on duty from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and 30 officers on duty from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. This plan would allow them to focus on property protection if power were to go out. Because alarm systems would be out and break-ins would be probable, the Rome police department was ready. There were many policemen on the roads throughout Monday and Tuesday, Major Bailey states, in order to be more “proactive than reactive.”

To the relief of Rome residents and the Police Department, Rome was spared by the worst of the hurricane. In order to assist those who experienced the worst of the storm, the Rome Police Department has started a t-shirt campaign for which all of the proceeds will be split between Florida and Texas, and will be going directly to the Police Union Organizations.

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