Georgia’s political leaders are urging residents to take the threat of Hurricane Irma seriously, and to heed officials’ warnings when it comes to mandatory evacuations and states of emergency.

“We have learned time and again that preparedness saves lives,” said U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson. “Hurricanes provide warnings that they are coming, and I urge Georgians to take advantage of this window of time to prepare their homes and properties, and more importantly, to heed evacuation advice.”

“Hurricane Irma is a life-threatening storm that has the potential to impact many Georgians as it makes landfall in the United States,” said U.S. Sen. David Perdue. “For everyone’s safety, including the safety of our first responders, everyone must take this storm seriously. As we saw with the devastation in Houston, we must take potential threats seriously and prepare accordingly.”

On Thursday, Gov. Nathan Deal increased the number of counties under a state of emergency and issued a mandatory evacuation order for all areas east of I-95 and all of Chatham County.

AS OF 9.7.17

“Current projections show Hurricane Irma making landfall on the Georgia coast Monday,” said Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. “Those in the 30 counties under a state of emergency should follow GEMA’s alerts and take the necessary precautions to remain safe.”

AS OF 9.7.17

Also on Thursday, the Georgia DOT announced that all I-16 eastbound lanes will be open to westbound travelers beginning Saturday at 8 am to accommodate Irma evacuees.

Georgia Power said on Thursday that it is monitoring the storm around the clock, mobilizing crews and preparing to respond to any service interruptions which may occur.

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