The executive order also authorized up to 5,000 Georgia National Guard members to be on state active duty to support Hurricane Irma response and recovery. Select personnel from SCEMD's Operations and Preparedness sections continue to monitor Hurricane Irma from the State Emergency Operations Center in West Columbia.
So far, Qureshi said he knows of one family scheduled to arrive Friday afternoon, but it's likely the shelters will fill up as more evacuees arrive from Florida and local hotels reach capacity over the weekend. But western parts of the state are still in Monday's forecast cone as Irma diminishes from a hurricane to a tropical depression.
At least 20 people have died in the Caribbean, including at least three in the US territory of Puerto Rico.
A mandatory evacuation order for coastal communities goes into effect at 8 a.m. Saturday, with all four lanes of I-16 going westbound at that point. Hurricane Irma battered Cuba on Saturday with deafening winds and unremitting rain, pushing seawater inland and flooding homes before taking aim at Florida.
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- Hurricane Irma will bring just a bit of rain to the Triangle Monday and Tuesday, and winds could gust to 40 miles per hour, WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said. It wasn't immediately clear if the collapse caused damage or injuries. Construction sites across Irma's potential path in Florida were locked down to remove or secure building materials, tools and debris that could be flung by Irma's winds.
There is a marginal risk for tornadoes Sunday night into Monday morning. "I urge Georgians in the affected counties to remain vigilant and be prepared".
The company is holding all Georgia Power resources in Georgia in advance of Hurricane Irma and is in touch with other mutual assistance network utilities to ensure coordination and access to additional resources if needed following the storm.
"The timing does not appear to be as favorable as with Hurricane Matthew, which hit at low tide", Deal said. About 574,000 of those outages were in Miami-Dade County, while there were 360,000 in Broward and almost 136,000 in Palm Beach County.
The hurricane, now categorized as a category 4, is forecast to make landfall on September 10.
"As you can tell, this is a serious storm", he said.
The center of the cone's path now puts Category 4 Irma, which still packs 155 miles per hour sustained winds, in north-central Florida early Monday and has it in northwest Georgia by Tuesday morning.