Storm path steers away from North Carolina

Even intrepid Keys residents ready to evacuate ahead of Irma

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster presses for state to tackle 'quiet hurricane' of opioid crisis

Georgia is bracing for potentially far-flung impacts from Hurricane Irma, which forecasters say could swamp the coast with storm surge near Savannah and topple trees and power lines in Atlanta.

In Beaufort County, residents of Hilton Head Island returned after McMaster lifted his evacuation order Tuesday morning.

"In a situation like this it's always best to be cautious because weather can change", McMaster said.

Georgia interstates are all open, but unsafe local road conditions, closed gas stations and even barricades at some county lines may greet evacuees trying to return to their homes too soon, Georgia officials said Tuesday morning.

During a Friday briefing, McMaster said officials will await a 5 p.m. update on Irma's projected path before issuing an evacuation order that could come around 6 p.m.

In Atlanta, people nervously watched towering oak trees as the city, 250 miles inland, experienced its first tropical storm warning.

Governor McMaster says what worries him the most is the wind and flooding potential to hurt people and destroy property.

"Although at this point is does not appear that Alabama will face the brunt of the storm, we will certainly be affected and we must be ready to respond, no matter what comes our way", Ivey said.

"We have not had one like this in the state of Georgia for a long time", Deal said.

The central and southern SC coast could see storm surge of 4-6 feet about dry land level. He planned an evening news conference.

Here's a closer look at how the Carolinas are preparing for Irma. Emergency managers there declared "the Keys are not open for business" and warned that there was no fuel, electricity, running water or cell service and that supplies were low and anxiety high. After enduring heavy flooding in 2015, they said they didn't want to take any chances. The last time was when Hurricane Matthew brushed the state's 100-mile (160-kilometer) coast without coming ashore last October. "So I'm sticking with my final decision and we're out of here".

Earlier in the week, the state's roadways were crowded as evacuees from Florida and Georgia headed out of the storm's path. Cooper said the state is expecting another wave of evacuees with additional evacuation orders. Southeast Georgia could get 10 to 12 inches or rain.

Just past year, Hurricane Matthew, one of the strongest, most destructive hurricanes to hit the Georgia coast in more than a century, broke or damaged approximately 1,000 power poles and more than 3,500 trees brought down almost 120 miles of wire along the Georgia coast. Also, ensure that curbsides and yards are clear to allow quick fix and restoration following the storm. Only Hurricane Hugo's direct hit in 1989 and a 1940 hurricane that hit a short way down the coast pushed higher seas. Myers at 2 p.m. and was still producing 120 miles per hour, Category 3-force winds. "That's what a lot of people who evacuated are using for shelter".

Latest News