Bibb County emergency leaders held a news conference Sunday at City Hall discussing their preparations a day before Hurricane Irma enters the midstate.
Macon-Bibb County EMA Director Spencer Hawkins said his office expects downed trees, power lines, flooding and power outages from Hurricane Irma.
Based on Sunday afternoon weather updates, Hawkins said the storm projections have Irma entering Central Georgia at about 8 a.m. Monday with sustained tropical force winds of about 40 to 50 miles per hour.
At about 2 p.m., the sustained winds are projected to pick up to 55 to 60 miles per hour.
Bibb County Fire Chief Marvin Riggins said those sustained winds present a major challenge to his department's operation of equipment.
"Tomorrow is a unique day for us," Riggins said during the news conference. "We are not used to having sustained winds as high as we anticipate them.
"When wind sustains itself for 40 to 50 miles per hour, it makes it extremely difficult for us to maneuver and manipulate ourselves through the streets of Macon-Bibb County," Riggins added.
To help first responders during the storm, Riggins urged residents in non-life threatening emergencies to call (478)832-6300. "If you have a life-threatening matter, call 911," Riggins said.
At 1 p.m. Sunday., the center of Hurricane Irma was located just south of Naples, Florida. Irma has maximum sustained winds are near 130 mph with higher gusts.
The center of Irma should move near or over the southwest and west coast of the Florida Peninsula later Sunday through Sunday tonight. Irma should then move inland over northern Florida and southwestern Georgia Monday afternoon.
A tropical storm warning has been extended into much of Central Georgia, and now covers much of north and central Georgia and Metro Atlanta.
Ga. National Guard Adj. Gen. Joseph Jarrard announced a series of military evacuation, including moving the Robins AFB J-STARS to Tinker AFB in Oklahoma.
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