CEMA releases new evacuation zones ahead of 2017 hurricane season

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Hurricane season for 2017 begins on June 1 but the Chatham Emergency Management Agency isn’t wasting any time in preparations.

After Hurricane Matthew destroyed parts of the Lowcountry and Coastal Empire, the county is getting ready to make sure every opportunity for safety is taken before the next storm strikes.

“During Hurricane Matthew, we realized we could gain greater efficiency in both timing and traffic management if we decided to split the larger of the two zones,” CEMA Outreach Coordinator Chelsea Sawyer said.

The decision was made to split the former two evacuation zones into three. Formerly the zones were split on either side of I-95. Now there are three zones, with two splitting at the Truman Parkway.

Sawyer walked WSAV through the changes.

“Zone A is this section here including Ossaba Island. this is going to be Whitemarsh Island, Wilmington Island Skidaway Island and of course Tybee Island here in evacuation zone A. This yellow zone is going to be Zone B. that’s going to include Port Wentworth Garden City, most parts of Savannah downtown, stretching all the way over to the Bryan County line. Zone C is going to be this purple section is going to be most of Bloomingdale and some parts of Pooler,” she said.

Zones A and B are split, Sawyer says, because of the general understanding of the location of the Truman Parkway and because of the natural break of storm surge happening on lower parts of the coast.

For those who live and work in different zones Sawyer says,”You are going to evacuate the zone in which you live.”

For more information and a print out of the map, click here.

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