UGAMI is back to normal operations following Hurricane Matthew

Sapelo Island's Marsh Landing Road, after downed trees had been cleared.
Sapelo Island’s Marsh Landing Road, after downed trees had been cleared.

As of Wednesday, Oct. 19th, UGAMI is open for business following its brush with Hurricane Matthew.  The storm caused no major damage to buildings, boats, or vehicles (see Oct. 10 Post on the effects of Hurricane Matthew). Initially, Georgia Power estimated that it would take 4-5 weeks to restore power to Sapelo Island.  Thanks to the monumental responses of the Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources and Georgia Power, it actually took just 6 days to turn the lights back on. The Dept. of Natural Resource’s chainsaw crews cleared the way for Georgia Power’s line crews, who brought several barge-loads of equipment and personnel to the island.

After the power came back on and other systems were restored, UGAMI remained closed to visiting scientists and students as a precaution until it could be verified that the drinking water supply had not been contaminated. Test results made available today give UGAMI’s water supply a clean bill of health. Individuals and groups scheduled to visit UGAMI should expect to find the Institute conducting business as usual.


Timeline of Hurricane Matthew for Sapelo Island

Sep. 28:  Tropical Storm Matthew enters the Caribbean Sea

Sept. 29: Matthew becomes a hurricane

Oct 3-6: Hurricane preparations at UGAMI

Oct 6: UGAMI closed, Sapelo Island evacuated (along with the entire coasts of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina). Hurricane Warning issued for Sapelo Island.

Oct 7: Hurricane Matthew hits

Oct 8: Initial reports from Georgia DNR that UGAMI weathered the storm well but that Sapelo Island’s electrical grid was seriously disrupted. Power restoration estimated to take 4-5 weeks.

Oct 9: Chainsaw crews begin clearing roads, UGAMI staff begins formal damage assessment & cleanup

Oct 12: UGAMI re-opens for staff only

Oct 13: Power is restored to Sapelo Island in the evening

Oct 19: UGAMI re-opens for for all users.