Ahead of Hurricane Hermine making landfall, Georgia's Governor Deal declared a state of emergency for 56 counties. The tropical storm was officially updated to hurricane status Thursday afternoon.
Governor Deal issued the declaration on "recommendation from the state's Emergency Operations Command in anticipation," according to a release.
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“Georgia is expected to receive severe weather related to Tropical Storm Hermine through Saturday,” Deal said. “We are working to ensure counties in south, central and coastal Georgia have access to the state resources necessary to prepare and respond when Tropical Storm Hermine enters Georgia. Our Emergency Operations Command will continue closely monitoring this storm and additional counties may be included in this declaration as needed.”
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The state of emergency goes into effect at noon Thursday and extends through midnight Saturday.
The declaration includes the following counties: Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brantley, Brooks, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Camden, Candler, Charlton, Chatham, Clinch, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Crisp, Decatur, Dodge, Echols, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Glynn, Grady, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Lanier, Laurens, Liberty, Long, Lowndes, McIntosh, Mitchell, Montgomery, Pierce, Richmond, Screven, Seminole, Tattnall, Telfair, Thomas, Tift, Toombs, Treutlen, Turner, Ware, Wayne, Wheeler, Wilcox and Worth counties.
Several schools have announced cancelations in advance of Hermine. Valdosta State will be closed through 5 p.m. Friday. Georgia Southern's Statesboro and Coastal Georgia Center campuses are also closed. Savannah State will also be closed on Friday.
Airlines have also begun to waive fees in anticipation of the storm. Click here for more info.
With 2 to 8 inches of rain possible in the southern part of the state, Georgia's Department of Transportation is making preparations. Crews are standing by to deploy in case of emergencies.
“We urge motorists to pay attention to warnings and advisories to stay off the roads due to the potential for flash flooding and downed trees,” said GDOT’s Maintenance Engineer Dale Brantley. “Our crews will work quickly to remove any dangers from the roadway, but we need to be able to get to trouble spots quickly.”
Motorists are reminded of the hazards of being on the roads during inclement weather that potentially includes high winds, flash flooding, the possibility of downed trees and possible road and bridge closures. The public is advised to not drive around barricades that are in place for motorist’s safety and to treat non-operational signals as a four-way stop.
For real-time road conditions, drivers are urged to call 511 or visit www.511ga.org.
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