Gov. Nathan Deal appears to have superceded the Chatham Emergency Management Agency and has called for a full mandatory evacuation of all Georgia counties east of I-95 effective immediately.
GA DOT has contra-flowed I-16 to make all lanes flow westbound. Be aware your exit options off I-16 through to Dublin will be very limited.
Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach said in a statement, "We have opened inland shelters. They are listed on the City’s website at savannahga.gov, and on Savannah Government Television, Comcast Channel 8. These shelters will not be comfortable. They are shelters of last resort, for those who have no other alternative. If you can, find your own place inland to ride out the storm. Make room in your own house for friends and loved ones. If you need to use public shelters, and cannot get there on your own, make your way to the Savannah Civic Center. Buses will be available to take you to one of the shelters. If you can’t make it to the Civic Center, make your way to the nearest Chatham Area Transit Bus Stop. Starting at noon, they will take residents to the Civic Center."
Hurricane Matthew remains a threat to Chatham County. Hurricane Matthew is traveling north at 12 MPH.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles.
"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," CEMA says.
"Significant coastal flooding is possible mid to late week. High surf, large breaking waves are also possible," CEMA says.
As of this writing at approximately 9 a.m. Georgia Dept. of Transportation still has NOT shifted I-16 to full all-lanes-westbound mode. We will keep you posted.
The American Red Cross has opened a number of shelters across Georgia including the following:
· Bibb County: Hephzibah Children’s Home, 6601 Zebulon Rd, Macon, GA 31220
· Bibb County: North Macon Park, 815 North Macon Park Drive, Macon, GA 31220 (opening at 10 a.m.)
· Colquitt County: First Baptist Church, 400 Main St, Moultrie, GA 31768
· Emanuel County: Swainsboro Rec. Dept., 632 McLeod Bridge Rd, Swainsboro, GA 30401
· Lowndes County: Park Avenue Methodist Church, 100 E. Park Ave., Valdosta, GA 31602
· Peach County: Peach County Fire Station 6, 1770 US Hwy 341, Fort Valley, GA 31030
· Richmond County: Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church, 1330 Monte Sano Ave, Augusta, GA 30904
"If someone is going to a shelter, they should bring any prescription medications, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, important documents and other comfort items. They should also include any special items for children such as diapers, formula and toys, and items needed by family members with unique needs," CEMA says.
Citizens with functional medical needs (FMN) should call the Chatham County Public Health Department at 912-691-7443 for help with finding resources.
Georgia Power has activated their emergency center. They have initialized preparedness efforts and are ready to respond to any power outages when safe to do so.
For the most up-to-date information, check www.chathamemergency.org and www.chathamcounty.org