Tracking Hurricane Ian's potential impacts to Georgia
Winds are picking up in coastal Georgia as the area braces for its brush with Ian, which is now creeping up eastern Florida as a tropical storm.
- As of 6:30am Thursday, coastal areas of Southeast Georgia are under a tropical storm warning, storm surge warning and hurricane watch.
What's happening: The National Hurricane Center is projecting an up-to-6 foot storm surge along the Georgia and South Carolina coastline today and tomorrow.
- The center is calling for the storm to be near hurricane intensity at landfall, with 70 mph maximum sustained winds.
- View the latest update from the National Weather Service here.
Catch up quick: Gov. Brian Kemp on Wednesday declared a state of emergency for all 159 counties in anticipation of high winds from the storm.
- Still, he told reporters Wednesday morning there is "no need to panic in the state of Georgia" and no evacuation orders have been issued.
Zoom in: Starting Friday afternoon, metro Atlantans should expect heavy rain scattered throughout the region, WSB-TV’s Brian Monahan said on Wednesday.
- People living on the eastside should also brace for strong gusts of wind.
Of note: Hurricane Ian hit Cuba with up to 125mph sustained winds on Tuesday and approached Florida just 2 mph shy of Category 5 status Wednesday.
State of play: Kemp said that express lanes on I-75 have been switched northbound for the near future to make way for evacuating Floridians.
- While no temporary shelters have opened and the state is confident in hotel capacity, Chris Stallings, director of the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, told reporters they're prepared for the possibility.
The National Parks Service has closed three areas along the coast, Axios' Kelly Tyko reports: Cumberland Island National Seashore, Fort Frederica National Monument and Fort Pulaski National Monument.
What's next: Metro Atlanta would avoid much fallout if the storm sticks to the east, according to Fox 5.
- Stallings said Colonial Pipeline assured them that fuel supply to Georgia would not be interrupted during the storm.
- The state’s emergency declaration runs until Oct. 28 and prohibits people from price gouging needed emergency items.
Be smart: Regardless, officials are encouraging Georgians to review their emergency plans.
- Stock up on enough food, water, medicine and supplies to last three days.
- Let friends, family and neighbors know where and how they can find you.
- Pay attention to local news sources.
What they're saying: "I wouldn't go as far to say we’re worried and I wouldn’t go as far to say we’re tickled to death,” Stallings said on Tuesday.
- "I would say we're anticipating what the storm is doing and just being open-minded to the track it's taking. We're continuing to try to stay two steps ahead and think of any problem that might pop up."
- Kemp, who also called up to 500 Georgia National Guard troops to assist, said Tuesday he is confident about the state's preparations. Still, he called on all Georgians to be prepared for major rain events: "Be storm ready."
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
Live updates: Hurricane Ian makes landfall in Florida as high-end Category 4 storm
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