Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Preparation before the storm key to minimizing damage from Hurricane Irma

Preparation before the storm key to minimizing damage from Hurricane Irma

A state of emergency allows the commonwealth to mobilize resources, including the Virginia National Guard and pre-position people and equipment to assist in storm response and recovery efforts.

The former hurricane remained an huge, 668km wide storm as its centre moved on from Florida on Monday afternoon, giving its still-formidable gusts and drenching rains a far reach.

The monster storm, now a Category 4 hurricane, is barreling toward Florida and expected to reach Georgia by early next week.

New drywall, new insulation, repaired door frames and fresh paint - Joey Spalding was still finishing repairs at his home on Tybee Island almost a year after it got flooded by Hurricane Matthew. It was expected to weaken to a tropical storm as it slogged into Georgia on Monday night and then aimed for western Tennessee.

On Friday, the governor declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the potential impact from Hurricane Irma. "When we turned the boat around, I saw their faces and they knew we were it".

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Savannah fine art photographer Dan Kaufman stops in the middle of almost deserted downtown Savannah, Ga., Sunday, Sept., 10, 2017 to take a photo of City Hall before winds from the outer bands of Hurricane Irma are forecast to impact the area.

Another man, in his 50s, was killed just outside Atlanta when a tree fell on his house, Sandy Springs police Sgt. Sam Worsham said.

The storms passing also left many without electricity.

"People don't like to leave their homes and businesses, and as little as they like leaving them, they want to get back to them immediately", McMaster said.

For more information on hurricane preparedness, visit the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency website. Other forecasts show Irma dumping between 3 and 6 inches of rain in north Georgia on Monday and Tuesday. The winds could arrive as early as Monday evening.

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Alabama Power reported 20,000 outages Tuesday morning. The last storm that powerful to make landfall on the Georgia coast struck in 1898. She said downed branches could cause some power outages. More than 894,000 Georgia Power and Electric Membership Corp. customers were in the dark Tuesday afternoon.

Smaller communities also were inundated — the entire SC town of Edisto Beach, population 530, was covered with several feet of water, Mayor Jane Darby said, despite a $17 million dune restoration project following Matthew's destruction.

Traffic was already heavy on Interstate 75 to Atlanta by Thursday afternoon with evacuees streaming out of Florida.

Atlanta Parks and Recreation Commissioner Amy Phuong said six crews were responding to fallen trees around the city as winds and rain intensified.

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