SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Governor Deal has issued a change in evacuation orders for Chatham County, in agreement with Chatham Emergency Management Agency.
As of 2:00 p.m. on September 9, mandatory evacuations are only in place for Zone A – Whitemarsh, Wilmington, Skidaway, Tybee, Ossaba Islands included.
Zone B & C are now under general evacuation.
“We’re not encouraging anyone to come back,” says Dennis Jones, Director of CEMA. “If you have evacuated, we encourage you to stay where you are.
Preparations are currently being made to dismantle the contraflow of I-16 at 4:00 p.m. Otherwise, there are currently no restrictions to travel in Chatham County.
Kim Kadesch, a representative from FEMA, says the concern still remains for storm surge.
“I would just tell you to keep in mind that the number one killer in a hurricane is storm surge and flooding,” Kadesch says, adding, “It remains a serious concern here.”
Jones says a storm surge of 4 to 6 feet above high tide is expected, adding “we’ll definitely have some isolation issues.”
Help for residents who need to evacuate is still available. The Evacuation Assembly Area is open today until 7:00 p.m. at the Civic Center.
It will reopen tomorrow, September 10 at 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.
At this point, 1,356 residents have been transported through the Evacuation Assembly Area.
Buses will be coming back after the storm has passed through Chatham County.
Jones says re-entry checkpoints may be set up for Zone A, but those plans have not yet been established.
CEMA held a press conference at 11 a.m. to discuss developments regarding Hurricane Irma. Watch below.