Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp today joined state and local emergency management officials, local leaders, and others in Savannah to provide an update on Tropical Storm Ian preparations and the state’s planned response. The State of Emergency issued by Governor Kemp on Tuesday went into effect this morning at 7:00 a.m. for all 159 of Georgia’s counties, making state resources available to local governments and entities within the hurricane impact area. The Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) State Operations Center is now at a Level 1 full-scale activation and continues to monitor Tropical Storm Ian’s progress. Teams from the relevant state agencies are also standing by to deploy to affected counties, when appropriate. The governor and emergency management officials are also coordinating with Georgia’s utility providers, who have been staging equipment, inspecting the right-of-way paths of power lines, and preparing to respond to any power outages homes and businesses may experience.
A number of Floridians have come to Georgia over the past several days, and Georgia is welcoming them with open arms. There is still reliable hotel/motel availability with sufficient capacity to meet demand. The tourism division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development has activated the Explore Georgia hurricane information webpage to help travelers and evacuees impacted by Tropical Storm Ian find hotel room openings and lodging availability, hours of operation for the state’s nine Visitor Information Centers, and links to emergency resources.
Current Weather Overview:
Ian weakened overnight and is now a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. It is currently moving off the east-central coast of Florida to the northeast at 8 mph.
The forecast track has shifted to the east since yesterday, and Ian is expected to make a second landfall as a tropical storm in South Carolina tomorrow. This has also shifted potential impacts to Georgia eastward. Heavy rainfall (2 to 4 inches of accumulation) and gusty winds (30-40 mph) will still be possible in East and Southeast Georgia today and tomorrow. 3 to 5 feet of storm surge is still possible along the Georgia coast today and tomorrow morning. The storm will weaken inland overnight Friday before dissipating throughout the day on Saturday.
Significant impacts are still possible in eastern portions of Georgia even with the eastward track shift. A Tropical Storm Warning, Hurricane Watch, Storm Surge Warning, and Flood Watch remain in effect for the entire Georgia coast through tomorrow. A Wind Advisory is also in effect for much of North and Central Georgia. Please continue to monitor forecast updates from the National Hurricane Center, your local National Weather Service office, and reliable media outlets.
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