The northeast is bracing for Hurricane Sandy..
The storm is expected to make landfall within the next hour or so..
This is live video from Newport, Rhode Island..where you can see the effects of the storm's outer bands..
Hello everyone. Thank you for joining us.
I'm Frank Malloy.
And I'm Leah Johnson.
This is Eyewitness News at Six.
Take a look at this video from Lower Manhattan...
Water is just crashing over the sea walls.
The biggest concern for the city is widespread flooding and forecasters say the storm surge could reach eleven feet.
And check out this video from Atlantic City New Jersey..
Surge from the storm has washed away an old section of the city's famous boardwalk.
In Belmar, New Jersey..water has already crashed over barriers and flooded streets..
Coming up later on Eyewitness News at 6...we'll hear from Ben Jones about the storm and how it's affecting us here in central Georgia.
Some folks in Central Georgia swung into action today... Ready to head north for relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
One group from the American Red Cross left Macon for Atlanta this morning...
Lorra Lynch Jones reports on how they're preparing for the mission ahead..
Volunteers packed this Emergency Response Vehicle for the drive to Atlanta.
That's where longtime volunteer, Roger Brooking, will meet with other volunteers... deploying to help people affected by hurricane Sandy.
Local Red Cross Director... Tracy Willis-Kight says they'll help with several problems.
< The efforts of the Red Cross currently is focused on mass care. (that's) mass sheltering, and mass feeding, delivering clean up kits, hygiene supplies.>
Georgia's Red cross will send a total of 16 emergency vehicles to Virginia and West Virginia.
Once there... Volunteers will wait on the call to take action.
< They respond to this disaster and we just are on hold waiting to hear from our fellow chapters what kind of support and resources they will need from us>
This truck will be a serving station... Doling out food to the masses.... through a pop-up serving line.
< You get to see some people that are crying even when they come up to the window to get food and happy to see us. That within it self is its own satisfaction in the fact that you're knowing that your helping somebody.>
After checking his supply list... Brooking said there's still room for more supplies.
< Anything else that is needed that's along the food line to people that are in houses that have been destroyed. They have no electricity... no water... We have coffee and water. >
Brooking and other volunteers will spend at least 2 weeks on the road.. With an additional 200 Georgia Red Cross volunteers expected to join them as they're needed.
The Red Cross says it's in need of volunteers and donors.
If you want to get involved... You can contact the local chapter at 478-743-8671. That number again...478-743-8671.
Today's web poll asks..
What would you do if you lived in the path of a hurricane?
So far...87 percent of you say evacuate..
13 percent say ride it out.
To vote now... Visit 13WMAZ.com.
Look for the question on the right side of the homepage.
40 states in the U.S. Have passed laws that say when an athlete can step back on the field after a concussion.
Right now Georgia is not on that list.
But.. As Katelyn Heck explains... a proposed law could change prevention and treatment of concussions.
This is a copy of the Georgia Return to Play Act of 2012.
It suggests how coaches should decide when their athletes can play again after a concussion.
The act had 4 sponsors going into last year's general assembly. Representative Nikki Randall says there seemed to be no opposition when it passed through the Health and Human Services Committee... But the bill failed to make it through the rules committee.
Representative Allen Peake is on that committee and says most of the members wanted more information.
<it is important, we have got to make sure we provide protection for our kids that are involved in sports, we just don't want to put so much boundaries on our coaches though that they feel like we're intrusive in their lives and so that's the balance and we have to make sure we come up with the right balance.>
This six page document mentions the word education 9 different times.
Under this act... A school or league would have to provide Coaches... Athletes... And Parents with an information sheet spelling out the signs... Symptoms... And dangers of concussions.
Coaches would also have to go through additional training every year.
<I have teenagers that are involved in sports and so I want whoever is coaching my child to make sure they have enough knowledge about the concussion issue before they put them back in play.>
Right now, Georgia's public and private school associations both "strongly recommend" concussion training for their coaches.
But executive directors for both groups support making that mandatory.
The act's next big topic... Cognitive testing.
It recommends that athletes take a computerized test...both at the beginning of the season and after a concussion...to show how well....and how quickly...their brain is functioning.
Jeff Jackson with the GISA and Ralph Swearngin with the GHSA say their two concerns are logistics and funding.They say many schools would not be able to afford the computer program... And not all schools are located close to a medical facility that uses it.
The average cost for the ImPACT test is under 5 dollars per athlete for a school... And around 30 dollars for a medical clinic.
Jackson and Swearngin both support the idea of using the ImPACT test if possible, but would not make the screening a requirement.
The Return to Play Act only recommends that schools use the test...it wouldn't require it.
But Peake says the topic will draw a lot of discussion if it goes back before the General Assembly next year.
<anytime we pass legislation that affects 10 million citizens, it needs to move slow to make sure we do it right and I think that's what you found out last year was that we realized 'ok hold it, let's make sure we get this right.' And I think you'll see that happen during this next session.>
Peake says two of the act's sponsors... Representatives Sharon Cooper of East Cobb and Ben Watson of Savannah... Plan to bring up the act again in the next session and will present more concussion statistics and research.
Coming up..later on Eyewitness News at 6..
Katelyn will demonstrate what happens when you suffer a concussion..
Two years ago, David Cooke and Greg Winters met in a non-partisan special election to complete the unexpired term left by former District Attorney Howard Simms.
Simms resigned the position to run for Superior Court judge.
Winters, a Republican, won the special election. This year, Cooke, a Democrat, is challenging Winters again in the Nov. 6 general election. The winner gets a four year term as DA for the Macon Judical Circuit, which covers Bibb, Crawford and Peach counties.
Lorra Lynch Jones is here with Randall Savage and both candidates..
Medical experts say there are still a lot of unanswered questions about concussions...
Katelyn Heck shows you... researchers have figured out a few of the puzzle pieces that help them with prevention and treatment.
when many people think concussions, they think of the big collisions, especially in football. Those hits you can hear even if you're sitting up in the nosebleeds. But researchers at Purdue University found out that's not necessarily true... they found that a series of smaller hits can be just as damaging as one big bow. If you can imagine this egg as a brain... it can get hit hard once... and get damaged... but I can hit this brain several times not as hard... and we get the same outcome. This really affects people like soccer players who head the ball multiple times a game... which is why women's soccer is one of the leading sports for concussions. It also affects football linemen who may not necessarily make the highlight reels for a big hit, but they're constantly getting hits throughout the game that can add up to a problem.
With football, some people will say, "well, I have a helmet on, so I should have a small risk of a concussion." Not to bash the importance of a helmet, but that's not true either. The helmet protects the skull, and does a great job at it, but you're brain is floating inside your skull in fluid... a concussion is a result of the brain jostling around and hitting the inside of your skull.... Again we can use an egg to demonstrate that. This football player egg has his helmet on, his brain, or the yolk, is floating inside of the shell. If I shake this egg, the yolk is moving around and hitting the shell, the outside of the egg is still protected and not damaged, but the yolk is still getting hit around inside. Some doctors say that by strengthening your cervical spine muscles, or the muscles right here that stabilize your neck and head, you can lessen some of that movement. Because you have your head sitting here on your neck, when you get hit, that whiplash -like movement is what causes the brain to move around. By tightening and strengthening those muscles, you get more stability at the neck and less movement inside the skull. It's not a fool-proof plan, but it's just one of the things researchers are looking at to help people protect themselves against a concussion.
Katelyn Heck went to a Macon clinic to learn more about the ImPACT test and how it works.
Tomorrow on Eyewitness News at 6, she will break down the six parts of the screening and why some medical experts say it could save players' lives.