Governor Nathan Deal has declared an emergency state for all 159 counties in Georgia. All the school districts in the metropolitan area of Atlanta has made plans on canceling classes for Monday and Tuesday. The local computer bus networks including MARTA and Xpress have also stopped their public bus transportation services temporarily. The governor said that the storm will affect almost everyone in Georgia. He has encouraged the residents to evacuate to a safe place and not to be near to the roads. Many residents have gone to stay at the local shelters. Sandbags are also doled out to those who choose to remain in their homes.
Most shops will be closed and the Atlanta government offices will also be closed. Many people have evacuated Atlanta and many roads are blocked so that it looks like a ghost town now. Many forecasters estimated Irma to become the most powerful hurricane in history that will ever hit Georgia. This is because Irma has remained on the category 5 scale longer than any other storms that have hit the USA before. The eyes of the hurricane storm span several hundreds of miles so it is definitely going to be more powerful than other catastrophic hurricanes. However, on Sunday, Irma has weakened following making a landfall in the Florida Keys and Marco Island.
Despite that, forecasters said that residents will have to face a strong wind from the hurricane that travels at a speed of 63 mph for several hours. At this kind of wind speed, heavy objects like furniture can be lifted up into the air and become projectiles. This is why people should not come out during the storm. The strong wind has caused a portion of the facade of a 32 story office building to fall off. This results in a number of streets nearby are closed down by the police.
The storm surge on Georgia coast can reach up to 6 feet. The forecaster said that there will be some rain overnight on Sunday and this will be followed by 6 hours of wind gust in the afternoon on Monday. The peak of the storm will occur from the noon to evening on Monday. On Tuesday, it is expected that a wind traveling at 50 mph will go through Georgia for 24 hours.
According to the forecast, the storm will bring 5 inches of rain or more in Georgia. It could also bring up to 12 inches of rain in certain places. They have set up a flash food watch in place. They are also expecting power outages to happen on Sunday. Many people in Georgia have went to Columbus to take shelter from Hurricane Irma. In Columbus, there is the Columbus Civic Center providing a temporary place to stay for those who have evacuated the coast of Georgia.