Deal expands state of emergency to 94 counties including much of Central Ga.

Gov. Nathan Deal held a news conference Friday on Hurricane Irma. He urged people in the state's mandatory evacuation areas to leave. He also said he may increase the number of counties under a State of Emergency. There are currently 30.

Gov. Nathan Deal has increased the number of counties under a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Irma.

Late Friday afternoon, Deal placed an additional 64 counties under the state of emergency, bringing the total to 94.

Deal added the counties following a recommendation from Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency.

Current forecasts project the storm moving west, which could increase its impact on the state.

The additional counties include: Baker, Baldwin, Ben Hill, Berrien, Bibb, Bleckley, Brooks, Calhoun, Chattahoochee, Clay, Colquitt, Cook, Crawford, Crisp, Decatur, Dodge, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Harris, Houston, Irwin, Jefferson, Johnson, Jones, Lamar, Lanier, Laurens, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marion, Meriwether, Miller, Mitchell, Monroe, Montgomery, Muscogee, Peach, Pike, Pulaski, Quitman, Randolph, Schley, Seminole, Stewart, Sumter, Talbot, Taylor, Telfair, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Troup, Turner, Twiggs, Upson, Washington, Webster, Wheeler, Wilcox, Wilkinson and Worth Counties.

“This is considered an extremely dangerous, category 4 hurricane, with winds of more than 150 miles per hour,” Deal said. “We all remember the tremendous levels of destruction from Hurricane Matthew, and this one has the potential to be even more devastating to our state.”

In a Friday morning press briefing, Deal said Hurricane Irma could be more devastating to Georgia than last year's Hurricane Matthew.

A state of emergency now exists in these counties: Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Baker, Baldwin, Ben Hill, Berrien, Bibb, Bleckley, Brantley, Brooks, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Calhoun, Camden, Candler, Charlton, Chatham, Chattahoochee, Clay, Clinch, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Crawford, Crisp, Decatur, Dodge, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Echols, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Glynn, Grady, Harris, Houston, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Jones, Lamar, Lanier, Laurens, Lee, Liberty, Long, Lowndes, Macon, Marion, McIntosh, Meriwether, Miller, Mitchell, Monroe, Montgomery, Muscogee, Peach, Pierce, Pike, Pulaski, Quitman, Randolph, Schley, Screven, Seminole, Stewart, Sumter, Talbot, Tattnall, Taylor, Telfair, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Toombs, Treutlen, Troup, Turner, Twiggs, Upson, Ware, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Wheeler, Wilcox, Wilkinson and Worth Counties.

Mandatory evacuations for coastal areas east of I-95 and all of Chatham County remain in place and contraflow on I-16 will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday.

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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