CEMA addresses Irma aftermath, reentry for Chatham County

SAVANNAH, GA (WSAV) – In coordination with Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, CEMA and the local joint command policy group announce the lifting of the evacuation order for all of Chatham County, with the exception of Tybee Island.

Tybee is inaccessible. Bull River Bridge is open, but Highway 80 is not clear.  State and local partners need your assistance in ensuring equipment and personnel can access all portions of Highway 80 in an effort to expedite the re-opening.

Other areas of the county have been affected by Irma as well. Mayor Deloach of Garden City says 16 homes have been damaged by trees. Mayor DeLoach of Savannah says he knows of 2 homes with trees on them but says city crews are already out cleaning up.

Many roads are still closed throughout the county. Citizens planning their return home should review the Chatham County road closures webpage and plan accordingly.

Further, GDOT will inspect the Talmadge Bridge. Numerous traffic signals are not working, so please treat each intersection that is not properly working as a four-way stop.

For specific travel information regarding Georgia interstate and state roads, please call 511.

Starting today, those who evacuated through EAA transport will begin returning to Chatham County. Chatham Area Transit (CAT) will assist with re-entry efforts and will not offer regular service today.

CAT will utilize their normal routes to get people home. Upon assessment of their property, if it is determined that their residence is inhabitable, individuals will utilize CAT to return to the Civic Center and will be transported to an emergency shelter.

Regular routes and paratransit service will resume on Wednesday, September 13, 2017.

Pets that were evacuated will be returned on Wednesday. Owners should contact Chatham County Animal Services at 912-652-6575 to arrange for pickup. The Chatham County Animal Services is located at 7211 Sallie Mood Drive.

Candler Hospital will reopen on Wednesday, September 13, 2017. St. Joseph’s and Memorial Hospital emergency rooms are open.

Chatham County Sheriff’s Department and Detention Center will be in full operation as of Wednesday. Residents are encouraged to contact their local municipality for hours of operation and services.

The EOC call center will continue to answer questions throughout the day, so citizens should utilize this service and refrain from calling 911 for non-emergency concerns.

Savannah Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) is expected to reopen for students on Monday, September 18, 2017. Assessments of facilities, food and support services are being conducted. Staff will be contacted by their supervisor.

Local colleges and universities are assessing their facilities; as of now the following will be closed through Wednesday, September 13, 2017:

  • Savannah State University
  • Armstrong State University
  • Georgia Southern University
  • Savannah Technical College

For individuals in need of assistance, they are encouraged to call 800-451-1954.

At this time debris and power outages are still affecting the area. According to Georgia Power, 54,000 customers in Chatham County and Richmond Hill are still without power.

No deaths or injuries have been reported due to Irma.

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