(WTVM) – Gov. Nathan Deal is expanding the state of emergency to 24 additional counties ahead of Irma.
Deal is following a recommendation from Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency.
Deal also issued a mandatory evacuation order for all areas east of I-95, all of Chatham County and some areas west of I-95 that could be impacted by a potential storm surge from Hurricane Irma.
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.
"The state is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety ahead of Hurricane Irma," said Deal. "I encourage all Georgians in our coastal areas that could be impacted by this storm to evacuate the area as soon as possible. Beginning Saturday, a mandatory evacuation order will take effect for Chatham County, all areas east of I-95 and some areas west of I-95 that could be impacted by this catastrophic hurricane and storm surge. GEMA/HS continues leading our preparedness efforts as we coordinate with federal, state and local officials to safely evacuate the coastal areas, provide public shelter and minimize the disruption of traffic. Finally, I ask all Georgians to join me in praying for the safety of our people and all those in Hurricane Irma's path."
The 30 counties under a state of emergency are: Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Brantley, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Camden, Candler, Charlton, Chatham, Clinch, Coffee, Echols, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Glynn, Jenkins, Jeff Davis, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Pierce, Screven, Tattnall, Toombs, Treutlen, Wayne and Ware Counties.
For sheltering and state park information click here. For more on relief efforts call (470) 303-2329.
Gov. Deal will host a news conference Friday at 10 a.m. to provide updates on storm preparations.