Latest Hurricane Matthew update from CEMA officials

CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. – Chatham County Emergency Management Officials released the latest update on the response to Hurricane Matthew:

The forecast track remains a threat to Chatham County. Hurricane Matthew is traveling north at 14 MPH. Tropical storm winds are approximately 267 miles from Chatham County.  Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles. Significant coastal flooding is possible mid to late-week. High surf, large breaking waves are also possible.

Chatham County Emergency Operations Center has been getting questions regarding the hurricane evacuation. Responses to frequently asked questions are included below:

Q: Are all lanes on I-16 open to westbound traffic?
A: Yes, all lanes going west on I-16 are open.

Q: How long will busses be available at the Savannah Civic Center to evacuate residents requiring transportation assistance?

A: CAT will pick-up citizens from bus stops county-wide and transport them to the Savannah Civic Center until midnight on Oct. 6. The Civic Center will be open until roughly noon on Friday, Oct. 7 for individuals arriving on their own accord seeking evacuation transportation. Also, by noon on Friday, Oct. 7, all evacuation transports will cease.

Remember, evacuation buses are for people with no other means of transportation. Evacuees will be seated by bus assignment on Board of Education buses for transport to inland shelters for the duration of the evacuation.

Seven-hundred citizens were bused from the Savannah Civic Center as of 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6.

Q: What should I take with me if I’m evacuating from the Civic Center?
A: No more than two hand-carry bags per person. Make sure you bring the following items:

  • prescription medications
  • extra clothing
  • pillow and blankets
  • hygiene supplies
  • important documents and other comfort items
  • special items for children such as diapers, formula and toys, and items needed by family members with unique needs

Q: Can I bring my pet if I’m being evacuating on a bus from the Civic Center?
A: Dogs and cats can be transported on public buses if the animals are in owner-provided travel carriers or on a leash. Pets should have:

  • dogs should have proof of current vaccinations for rabies, DHLP, Bordetella and corona
  • cats should have proof of current vaccinations for rabies, feline leukemia, and FVRCP
  • feeding bowls & four days of food; water
  • tagged collar
  • litter
  • medications

Service animals will be accepted in all shelters in accordance with ADA guidelines. Local representatives will work with pet owners to identify appropriate accommodations for your pets.

The more hazards in your location, the more important it is that you leave even if it is only precautionary.  If you live in a mobile home, even if it is well away from the coast and tied down, the wind can pose a threat to your safety.  If you live in a hurricane evacuation zone you should leave as early as possible.

What to take when you evacuate:

  • important documents to include wills, insurance policies, contracts, birth certificates and citizenship information
  • critical computer files, stocks & bonds
  • passports, Social Security cards, military records
  • bank account records
  • credit card names and numbers
  • inventory and household goods
  • photos/video
  • medical and dental records, and prescriptions
  • adoption papers and court orders

For those evacuating on their own, the American Red Cross has opened a number of shelters across Georgia including the following:

  • Bibb County: Hephzibah Children’s Home, 6601 Zebulon Road, Macon, GA 31220
  • Bibb County: North Macon Community Center, 815 North Macon Park Drive, Macon, GA 31220
  • Bibb County: East Macon Recreation Center, 31217 Ocmulgee E. Blvd., Macon, GA 31201
  • Bibb County: Macon City Auditorium, 415 First Street, Macon, GA 31201
  • Colquitt County: First Baptist Church, 400 Main Street, Moultrie, GA 31768
  • Emanuel County: Swainsboro Rec. Dept., 632 McLeod Bridge Road, Swainsboro, GA 30401
  • Laurens County: Dublin High School, 1127 Hillcrest Parkway, Dublin, GA 31021
  • Laurens County: East Laurens High School, 920 Highway 80 E., East Dublin, GA 31027
  • Laurens County: West Laurens High School, 3692 Highway 257, Dexter, GA 31019
  • Lowndes County: Park Avenue United Methodist Church, 100 E. Park Avenue, Valdosta, GA 31602
  • Peach County: Peach County Fire Station 6, 1770 US Hwy 341, Fort Valley, GA 31030
  • Richmond County: Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church, 1330 Monte Sano Avenue, Augusta, GA 30904
  • Tift County: Tift County Recreation Dept., 7140 North Victory Drive, Tifton, GA 31794
  • Ware County: Waycross Middle School, 700 Central Avenue, Waycross, GA 31501

American Red Cross shelters remain open and continue to accept evacuees. More information about shelter occupancy is available at

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