State, city of Atlanta prepare as Irma sets sights on Georgia - CBS46 News

State, city of Atlanta prepare as Irma sets sights on Georgia

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

The entire state of Georgia is under a state of emergency, and it’s also the first time in the history of Atlanta that the city is under a tropical storm warning.

CBS 46 spoke with both Gov. Nathan Deal and Mayor Kasim Reed to talk about what the city and state are doing to prepare for Irma.

The city said it is preparing for up to five inches or rain and wind gusts of over 60 miles per hour, and both Reed and Deal agree: they want people to stay off the roads, stay inside and stay out of the path of the storm.

“We are already experiencing wind damage in Downtown Atlanta,” Redd said in a news conference Sunday afternoon.

Falling debris from a 32-story high rise shut down parts of Peachtree Street on Sunday, and Reed said this is just the beginning.

“Don’t be fooled into thinking that this storm cannot hurt you,” Reed said. “Don’t go out and play in it.”

By the mayor’s order, all government offices will be shut down on Monday, and MARTA and the street car will also not be in operation.

“We are also advising local businesses to close [Monday] as well,” Reed said.

“Virtually the entire state of Georgia is going to be impacted by this hurricane,” Deal said in a news conference on Sunday.

Deal is asking all schools in the state to close Monday and Tuesday.

“The president called me early this morning to assure me that he was standing by for any assistance that we night need,” Deal said.

One place that will remain open as Irma comes to Georgia: the world’s busiest airport.

“Right now, it is our plan to keep Hartsfield-Jackson operating,” Reed said.

Ahead of the storm, power crews are staging near Georgia State Stadium. Public Works was also out cleaning storm drains and picking up debris.

The city is asking people to store anything that can fly away in high wind, like lawn furniture or trash cans.

“Wind speeds that high literally can lift furniture off the ground and turn it into projectiles,” Reed said.

Shelters are open across the state, including the Atlanta Motor Speedway and 34 state parks, but some of Atlanta’s homeless said they don’t know where they will go.

Again, the big message from the city and state is to stay off the roads on Monday. If you have a non-emergency call within the city of Atlanta, call 311, and for true emergencies call 911. 

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