Mandatory evacuations in Georgia ahead of Hurricane Matthew

Gov. Deal: 'Mandatory' evacuation is voluntary

Everywhere east of I-95 in Georgia coastal counties are under a mandatory evacuation.

The six counties are Bryan, Chatham, Liberty, McIntosh, Glynn and Camden.

In addition, all of Chatham County is under an evacuation order, according to Chatham Emergency Management Agency.

LIVE | Hurricane Matthew Interactive Coverage

Governor Nathan Deal issued the order under the recommendation of state emergency operations officials because predictions show the storm will intensify.

"I am now ordering a mandatory evacuation for areas east of Interstate 95. I also encourage the voluntary evacuation of residents in low-lying, coastal areas west of I-95. Shelters are opening now in these areas," he said.

Earlier in the week he ordered a voluntary evacuation in those counties for areas West of I-95 and still encourages residents to leave.

He also has National Guard on stand by.

"I’ve activated 45 members of the Georgia National Guard. They will assist state and local public safety and transportation officials. I urge Georgians in the affected areas to remain calm, be prepared and make informed, responsible decisions as we continue to monitor Hurricane Matthew’s path,” he said.

While the evacuations are officially mandatory, Deal did clarify the designation.

"We don't think that it is appropriate to go...and physically remove people," Deal said. "However, they are the ones most likely to be needing to be removed after the consequences of the storm have already descended upon them."

Deal reminded residents that the storm is serious. 

MORE | 30 Georgia counties are in a state of emergency.

Photos | Hurricane Matthew


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