Georgia governor orders evacuation of Savannah, coast ahead of Irma

Isaac Cain
September 11, 2017

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.

Georgia is bracing for potentially far-flung impacts from Hurricane Irma, which forecasters say could swamp the coast with storm surge near Savannah and topple trees and power lines in Atlanta.

He also authorized up to 5,000 Georgia National Guard members to be on state active duty to support Hurricane Irma response and recovery. But traffic on the route was light and Gov. Nathan Deal ordered that eastbound lanes return to normal use just eight hours later.

The evacuation order for areas east of Interstate 95 and some areas to its west takes effect Saturday at 8 a.m., Deal said in a statement.

Northbound traffic right on I-75 through Sarasota Fla. is heavier than normal but still moving on Thursday Sept. 7 2017. Many South Florida residents are evacuating and heading north as Hurricane Irma approaches. (Mike Lang /Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Deal is expected to hold a media avail tonight at the State Operations Center at 6 p.m. after being briefed by officials and emergency responders.

An updated map showing the Georgia counties under a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Irma as of Thursday, September 7, 2017. Residents are urged to heed evacuation orders.

GEMA/HS is coordinating disaster preparedness efforts along with the Georgia Department of Defense (GA DoD), the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Georgia Department of Public Safety. See the attached graphic for more information.

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