The Chatham Emergency Management Agency in coordination with local government has issued a voluntary evacuation order for islands east of the Wilmington River beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday.
There is NO countywide evacuation at this time, due to current forecasts indicating an eastward turn of Hurricane Matthew.
The major issue anticipated for most citizens is possible power outage. Officials recommend having three days worth of food and water in contingency for those who decide to stay.
"Citizens can expect, at a minimum, gale force winds from Tybee Island to east of I-95," CEMA says. "Weather conditions could unexpectedly deteriorate and gale force winds could increase in speed. Any person that elects not to evacuate should be prepared to ride out the storm in a secure area with three days’ non- perishable provisions and adequate drinking water, given the potential for loss of power for 72 hours or greater."
Tybee Island has already issued a voluntary evacuation effective 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Most local events have been canceled/postponed, including the Tybee Island Pirate Fest (new date not determined), Midnight Garden Ride (rescheduled for Oct. 21), Oktoberfest on River Street (rescheduled for Oct. 28-30), First Friday Art March (canceled).