GA governor details state preparations ahead of Irma - FOX Carolina 21

GA governor details state preparations ahead of Irma

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UWM/SSEC/CIMSS, William Straka III/NASA A satellite of image of Hurricane Irma as obtained by NASA and NOAA. UWM/SSEC/CIMSS, William Straka III/NASA A satellite of image of Hurricane Irma as obtained by NASA and NOAA.
ATLANTA (FOX Carolina) -

In a press conference on Friday, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal discussed how the state is preparing for Hurricane Irma. On Sunday, Deal declared a state of emergency for the entire state. With a state of emergency declared, price gouging laws are in effect. According to Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, a consumer protection unit will be monitoring the prices of fuel, hotel rooms, and water. If the public suspects price gouging in Georgia, they should call 800-869-1123.

On Thursday, Deal issued a mandatory evacuation for all areas east of I-95 and Chatham County. The evacuation goes into effect Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m., but Deal encouraged residents to leave earlier if they could. I-16 contraflow will also go into effect Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m. All the lanes that head towards Savannah will be reversed. All four lanes of traffic will head towards Macon. A representative with the Georgia Department of Transportation stated that there are 22 other evacuation routes that do not go through the interstate. Residents are encouraged to also use these routes. I-75 express lanes will remain open with no toll fees until the event is over. Residents should call 511 if they need non-emergent motor assistance when evacuating.

A representative with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency stated that some shelters are already open and over 50 will be open starting Saturday. According to a Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) representative, Georgia state parks will be open for shelters. There will also be space for overflow camping if the shelters reach capacity. The agency will not charge entrance or pet fees at the parks. The DNR representative also stated that no one will be turned away at Georgia state parks. The Georgia DNR also has 14 debris clearing teams prepared for the aftermath of Irma. 

During the press conference, a Georgia Public Safety representative stated that if caught in severe weather, people should not attempt to drive in moving or standing water. If drivers encounter down power lines, they should remain in their vehicles. 

If Georgia residents have questions or concerns about hurricane preparations, they can contact a Georgia Emergency Management Agency representative at 1-800-TRY-GEMA. 

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