Residents Around The Gulf Watching Arlene's Development

Bay County emergency operations officials are keeping a close eye on the tropics as Tropical Storm Arlene gains strength.

Emergency officials say this storm will probably be no more than heavy rains in our area but they are keeping and eye on it just in case.

It was just a few weeks ago local emergency workers ran a test hurricane drill.

Chief Bob Majka says the current the Emergency Operations Center on Mulberry Ave. downtown is okay to withstand up to a Category 3 hurricane.

After that, however, they will move to the backup EOC at the Florida Highway Patrol headquarters on the Deerpoint Dam Road in Bayou George.

Majka says he was hoping the season would start off with more of a whisper instead of a named storm in week one. He says he isn't superstitious but a storm the first week is not a good omen.

Majka told NewsChannel Seven the EOC is staffed at level three preparedness 24 hours a day seven days a week. At this time there are no plans to full activate the EOC unless there are some serious developments with Arlene.