Georgia’s coastline is relatively short and the states around it stick out into the ocean more, so it gets hit by hurricanes less frequently than other southeastern states. Still, state and federal officials are keeping an eye on Hurricane Matthew.
The National Weather Service says the storm could hit Florida in the next few days, and the coast of Georgia later this week.
“We’re monitoring the storm through our regional office in Atlanta,” said Rafael Lemaitre, director of public affairs at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “We also have, in Florida, additional staff there as well that have already deployed in support of the impacts from Hermine.”
Even if the hurricane doesn’t directly hit Georgia, the coast could still feel the storm’s effects, he said.
“We don’t know what the impacts are going to be to Georgia at this point,” he said. “But what we do know is even with the most eastward track that is being forecasted we may see some impacts at the very least to coastal areas.”
Hurricane Matthew is a Category 4 storm. It hit Haiti Tuesday morning, the strongest hurricane to make landfall there in decades.
According to a press release sent out from the governor’s office, Gov. Deal has issued a state of emergency for the 13 counties which make up Georgia’s coastal area.
“Hurricane Matthew is forecast to potentially impact the Georgia coast within 72 hours,” Deal said in the press release. “While the exact effects are unknown at this time, I’ve issued an emergency declaration for coastal counties effective Oct. 5 and extending for seven days … The safety of Georgians is our first priority, and we urge residents in these areas to remain calm but vigilant as they prepare for potential impact.”
The 13 counties affected by the state of emergency are Brantley, Bryan, Bulloch, Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Effingham, Evans, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh and Wayne counties.
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