Georgia governor: Don't be complacent - CBS46 News

Georgia governor: Don't be complacent

Posted: Updated:
Source: WGCL Source: WGCL
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

Flanked by leaders of the major state agencies, Gov. Nathan Deal issued a warning Friday about Hurricane Irma.

“This is a dangerous hurricane,” said Deal. The aftermath of the hurricane will probably be significant.”

If the hurricane stays on its current projected path, it could come straight up Florida into Georgia, experts warned. Because of that, the director of Georgia’s emergency management agency is asking that people fleeing from Florida continue traveling into north Georgia.

“The goal is to have over 50 shelters open and available tomorrow (Saturday) with over 7,000 beds,” said Homer Bryson, director of Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency. “We want to keep the shelters in south Georgia available for our local citizens as they’re needed.”

Public safety officials suggested all Georgians have a storm plan and a back-up plan. Once the storm hits, officials warn citizens not to put themselves or their family into more harm.

 “What did Texas show us? Do not drive into standing or moving water,” said Col. Mark McDonough of the Georgia Department of Public Safety. “The majority of the fatalities that occurred in that state related to traffic was people driving into water.”

Gov. Deal has issued mandatory evacuations for coastal Georgians – anyone living east of Interstate 95.

“We’re not going to go and drag someone out of their home if they don’t want to leave,” Deal said, “but as I indicated, likewise, we’re not going to send our emergency personnel in to rescue you when there are other people who have heeded the warning and need their help.”

It’s not that help won’t come, he added. It’s just that there’s no guarantee.

Deal has declared a state of emergency in 30 Georgia counties. He indicated that he could add more counties to the list, depending on the path the storm takes and the damage it does.

Copyright 2017 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.