GA Governor declares state of emergency for entire state

Frederick Owens
September 13, 2017

Or the storm could veer further west and cross the Florida Panhandle into Alabama.

And Deal used the same strategy in October to respond to Hurricane Matthew, which killed at least four people in Georgia and caused millions of dollars in damage.

Traffic was already heavy on Interstate 75 to Atlanta by Thursday afternoon with evacuees streaming out of Florida.

"If this comes true this is extremely serious", one source tracking the storm told us. That doesn't meant the hurricane will strike it.

Georgia Power offered the following tips and resources for customers to make use of before, during and after the storm.

Becky and Mike Gerald evacuated their Tybee Island condo a block from the beach for Matthew.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMasters says he "intends" to issue an evacuation order for 10 a.m. on Saturday.

"I may not go at Category 3 if the surge isn't so high", Mike Gerald said. "I just don't know". "Where do we have to go except the bathroom and the back bedroom?"

Meteorologists were divided on the precise trajectory of the storm, though some models showed Hurricane Irma directly making landfall over Miami.

"I just hope everyone survived", Gov. Rick Scott said. "I have all my mother's antiques".

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Although South Carolina had not ordered a mandatory evacuation on September 6, the state does have very detailed evacuation route maps for major cities.

On Tybee Island east of Savannah, Ernie Laessig wasn't taking any chances with Irma.

For now, get your hurricane plan ready to implement and follow instructions from local government and emergency managers.

Putnam has no plans to stick around. Maximum sustained winds of 185 miles per hour make it more intense than even catastrophic storms like Andrew and Katrina, and the pressure remains at 918 mb.

Spayberry and Pfaff both said Wednesday storms along the coast were unrelated to the hurricane, and weather should remain clear until Irma makes her presence known sometime during the weekend.

But Scott conceded that Irma's uncertain path was making it hard for officials to tell Floridians exactly where they should go. "Your life is more important than anything else".

UPDATE - In another executive order Thursday, Governor Nathan Deal expanded his first order to include 24 additional counties, for a total of 30 Georgia counties now in a state of emergency.

Hurricane Jose's projected path as of Thursday morning.

If Hurricane Irma strikes SC, possibly as early as Sunday night, it would be roughly the power of Hurricane Hugo in 1989, a Category 4 storm that caused $6.5 billion in damage, killed 13 people and left 137,000 residents without power and 60,000 homeless in the state.

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