SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – As evacuation orders were issued into the later week of October 2nd, an estimated 2 million people (including Florida) evacuated coastal areas as Hurricane Matthew made it’s way up from the Caribbean.
Now, as the dust settles after it’s wake people are eager to return home to check on personal items and even some family members and furry friends that stayed behind.
As of right now, state officials are working on a safe and staged re-entry plan to the coastal areas. The first phase of re-entry is not meant for the general public. It’s for emergency personnel to clear the roadways, inspect bridges for safe returns. Once water has receded, appropriate power companies have addressed downed power lines crews will clear roadways of trees and debris.
Officials are asking for patience because these things will take some time.
I-95 is currently closed in the coastal region. No one can travel east of I-95 on any state routes.
I-16 is in normal operations both east and westbound travel lanes from Dublin to US-301/Exit 116, however, eastbound lanes remained closed from US 301/Exit 116 in Statesboro to Savannah.
No vehicle will be allowed access onto I-16 eastbound lanes beginning at US 301 except emergency and first responders. All eastbound lanes from US 301/Exit116 to Savannah will be restricted to use by state and federal agencies responding to Hurricane Matthew and services providers like Georgia Power.
There are at least 338 roads and 14 bridges closed in South Carolina. At least 25 Beaufort Co. highways are closed, including HWY 170 and 21, in a variety of locations due to fallen trees. Highways in Jasper Co. were reported blocked last night in at least 60 different places, including three different places on I-95 including the exit at Ridgeland.
Emergency Management numbers to contact:
Chatham Co.- (912)644-8811
Effingham EMA- (912)754-8205
Liberty EMA- (912)368-2201
McIntosh County- (912)437-6671