Hurricane Matthew update from Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Georgia Governor Nathan Deal gave his first update just after 12:30 Friday since his 5 p.m. presser Thursday.

Deal is in contact with the governors of both Florida and Texas, both have offered help if needed. He’s also consulting an expert in Atlanta from the Army Corp of Engineers out of Louisiana who has extensive hurricane experience due to Katrina.

As of his update nearly 9,000 people had relocated to 30 shelters throughout the state, but 4,000 beds are still available.

Buses have moved some 5,000 people away from Coastal Georgia and roughly 6,500 evacuees are in 50 state parks.

As many as 1,000 National Guard soldiers are in the region and Georgia’s DOT has more than personnel in the area or ready to quickly arrive. They are meeting at 7 a.m. Saturday to access roads, bridges etc. Bridges like the Talmadge will have to be inspected before they are reopened.

Four hospitals and nine nursing homes have been evacuated, meaning a rough 1000 patients have been moved, including 18 air-lifted. Memorial Medical Center and St. Joseph Candler are sheltering in place in Savannah.

The state is issuing a call for medical volunteers: if you can help visit

Officials with the Georgia State Patrol say the time is coming to shelter in place if you haven’t already left. At some point soon I-16 will reverse from contraflow back to normal.

To evacuees, the State Patrol asked patience, giving crews time to work when storm has passed, asking that evacuees not return right away.

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