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HURRICANE MICHAEL: Tropical storm watch issued for Pike County

Hurricane Michael has become a category 2 storm and Pike County is now under a tropical storm watch as the cyclone approaches the Gulf Coast.

Herb Reeves, interim EMA director, said it is important for residents to pay attention to the latest updates Tuesday as the storm could still shift west, bringing a more significant impact for Pike County, or east, lessening the effects locally.

“Residents need to go ahead and get prepared,” he said. “It’s better to be safe than sorry and be prepared,” Reeves said. “Everyone needs to make sure they have gas in their cars and plenty of food and water.”

Under the tropical storm watch, sustained winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour are possible with gusts of up to 50 miles per hour.

Troy City Schools students are out on fall break until Thursday, but an in-service day for teachers Wednesday has been cancelled. Pike County Schools officials are monitoring the storm and will be making a decision today on whether to close Wednesday.

Pike Liberal Arts School is on fall break until Thursday.

City of Troy officials have already made the decision to close government offices Wednesday.

“Out of an abundance of caution, City offices and programs will be closed at 5:00 this afternoon and reopen Thursday morning due to the possible effects of Hurricane Michael,” said Mayor Jason Reeves. “We will have emergency and essential personnel working and available to handle public safety and utility operations. The 311 call center will be staffed to handle power outages and issues and our E911 dispatch center will operate 24/7 as usual. We will keep you posted as more information comes in and will watch very carefully overnight tonight for any drift back to the west, which could greatly increase the storms impact on our area. Please stay prayerful, mindful, and cautious over the next 36 to 48 hours.”

County offices will also be closed all day Wednesday.

Jason Reeves also reminded people to make use of the U.S. Highway 29 overpass to avoid U.S. Highway 231 if at all possible today as evacuees from Florida come through Troy.

Editor’s note: The Messenger team will be tracking this storm all day as it approaches the Gulf Coast, bringing you news of closings and potential weather impacts. Stay tuned for online updates via our website at troymessenger.com and on social media.