Georgia governor orders evacuation of Savannah, coast ahead of Irma

Georgia governor orders evacuation of Savannah, coast ahead of Irma

Georgia governor orders evacuation of Savannah, coast ahead of Irma

Shortly after noon Thursday, Gov. Nathan Deal announced the mandatory evacuation of all areas of Glynn, Camden and McIntosh counties east of I-95 as of Saturday, along with some areas west of I-95 in Glynn and Camden counties.

The order affects the cities of Savannah and Brunswick in Georgia, which has not been hit by a Category 3 hurricane or higher since 1898, according to WSB-TV.

An emergency manager on Georgia's coast says first responders and critical personnel will likely evacuate inland if Hurricane Irma threatens the area as a major hurricane. The executive order also authorized up to 5,000 Georgia National Guard members to be on state active duty to support Hurricane Irma response and recovery.

McMaster also ordered health care facilities along the coast to begin evacuations effective Thursday at 2 p.m.

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"It is not too soon to get ready", Cooper said.

In a statement, the Governor's Office said Deal was acting on a recommendation from the state's Emergency Operations Command. "Irma is a powerful storm".

"We would likely feel the effects in the Monday, Tuesday time frame, but I can not stress enough the amount of uncertainty", meteorologist Scott Sharp said.

North Carolina will feel significant impact from Hurricane Irma by Monday, a National Weather Service spokesman said Thursday at a news conference led by Gov. Roy Cooper.

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