DUBLIN, Ga. — As people from the six coastal Georgia counties under mandatory evacuations made their way farther inland, gas stations and exits were cramped all along I-16 in Laurens County Monday afternoon.

With contraflow on I-16 set to begin around 8 a.m. Tuesday, many people have asked what that means and the effect that will have on their commute.

Allen Huth, his wife and their dog stopped at the Dublin Visitor’s Center on their way to Atlanta from their home in Brunswick.

“We decided to go ahead and do it today before getting in all of the traffic tomorrow,” said Huth.

Kyle Collins with the Georgia Department of Transportation says starting at 8 a.m., the gates you usually see going east down I-16 will come down as contraflow begins.

The contraflow allows traffic to cross over into eastbound lanes, so all four lanes will send traffic westbound from Savannah to Dublin.

“You will NOT be able to travel eastbound on I-16 past Exit 39,” said Collins.

Westbound, two-way traffic will open back up to normal right before Exit 42. Collins says the last time contraflow went into place from Savannah to Dublin was during Hurricane Irma in 2017.

"We were supposed to move when Irma came through, so we had to wait that one out in Atlanta and then it came up into Atlanta, but then we finally got down to Brunswick,” said Huth.

Now Huth is heading north and Collins wants to remind everyone in the Laurens County area about one thing.

contraflow gate I-16
Chelsea Beimfohr

“There are other ways to get around besides interstates, so just be aware of that,” he said.

So far, there is no definitive end time for contraflow. Collins says it depends on what happens with the storm.

For people in Laurens County, there are still state routes and back roads open to help you navigate around the city. Waze is one popular smartphone app that can help you find those routes.

WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE READING

Forecasters now monitoring four other tropical disturbances

LIST: Hurricane Dorian evacuation shelters in Central Georgia

Mandatory evacuation issued for Georgia's coastal counties

STAY ALERT | Download our FREE app now to receive breaking news and weather alerts. You can find the app on the Apple Store and Google Play.

STAY UPDATED | Click here to subscribe to our Midday Minute newsletter and receive the latest headlines and information in your inbox every day.

Have a news tip? Email news@13wmaz.com, or visit our Facebook page.