Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Deal expands Irma emergency declaration to all Georgia counties

Deal expands Irma emergency declaration to all Georgia counties

ATLANTA — The remnants of Hurricane Irma forced Atlanta's worldwide airport - the world's busiest passenger airport - to cancel almost 200 flights early Tuesday. The governor ordered the evacuation of all people east of Interstate 95.

"This is a rapidly moving hurricane and the weather and the consequences of that hurricane can change dramatically within a short period of time", Deal said.

Nathan Deal on Sunday added 65 counties to his previous state of emergency declaration, which now encompasses the entire state.

Almost 4.5 million homes and businesses across Florida have lost power as Hurricane Irma moves over the state. More than 1 million were without power during its peak Monday. "Fuel outages are being reported throughout the state, in addition to the difficulty in resupplying due to the storm. We have not had one like this in the state of Georgia for a very long time", Deal said, referring to the widespread impact. Parts of the coast saw significant flooding during Irma.

"It's organized chaos. We've been doing this for a few days, and we've done it before", Brandon Bolinski with FEMA said.

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So where should evacuating residents go?

The state of emergency now includes all 159 counties in Georgia.

Deal has lifted a mandatory evacuation, which he had previously ordered for six coastal counties.

"Ahead of Hurricane Irma, I've issued an executive order prohibiting price gouging and waiving rules and regulations for motor vehicles transporting supplies, equipment, personnel, goods and services associated with disaster assistance and relief", said Deal in the release. He planned an evening news conference.

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"We are not in the clear and we can't let our guard down", Gov. Roy Cooper said. On Tybee Island east of Savannah, Holland Zellers was grabbing a kayak to reach his mother in a home near the beach.

"Well it is changing hour by hour, minute by minute", Laessig said as he prepared to leave Friday for Athens, Georgia, 234 miles northwest.

Charge all necessary electronics, including cell phones and tablets, so you can stay connected even if the power is out. "So I'm sticking with my final decision and we're out of here". Irma sent 4 feet of ocean water into downtown Charleston, South Carolina, as the storm's center passed 250 miles (400 kilometers) away. Up to 8 inches of rain is expected locally.

If Irma sticks to a more westward inland path, it could arrive in Georgia as a weakened tropical storm. It's also about 100 miles from the coast.

Savannah, Ga. (WJCL)- Irma is now a category 4 hurricane with winds of 130 miles per hour.

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