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Atlanta area could experience effects of Hurricane Ian on Friday and Saturday

Decatur Metro ATL Tucker

Atlanta area could experience effects of Hurricane Ian on Friday and Saturday

An image showing the potential path of Hurricane Ian. Image obtained via noaa.gov

Atlanta, GA — Hurricane Ian is expected to hit Florida on Wednesday afternoon and is currently at Category 3 strength, according to ABC News.

ABC reports 2.5 million Florida residents have been ordered to evacuate and the storm is predicted to land between the Tampa and Fort Myers area.

Locally, we could experience rain and strong winds from the storm on Friday, Sept. 30 which will last through Saturday, Oct. 1.

Ryan Willis, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, said, “Friday is the day you’ll have the most noticeable deterioration in conditions locally.”

Willis added that the overall impact will depend on where the cone of the storm moves. Gusty winds and flooding are the primary concerns for our area, Willis said.

“At this point, there is the potential for wind gusts in excess of 30 to 40 miles per hour as we get into that Friday time frame,” he said, adding it could lead to downed trees and power lines.

The winds should subside Saturday, though with resources tied up attending to harder hit areas, power outages are a concern. Georgia Power offers the following tips to people left in the dark:

— In warm weather, turn your air conditioning down. In cold weather, turn your heat up. During and after the storm, keep doors and windows closed – you can retain inside temperature for as long as 48 hours.

— Charge your cell phone and other devices that need to be charged.

— Keep freezer doors closed and sealed. Frozen food will keep two or three days in a well-filled freezer.

— Leave a porch or front light on. This helps our crews know when repair work is successful.

— Disconnect or turn off any appliances that will start automatically when power is restored to avoid overloading circuits. Hot appliances pose a fire hazard, including: Electric space heaters, stoves, washers and dryers, TVs, microwave ovens, computers, refrigerators and freezers

Gov. Brian Kemp has activated the state operations center ahead of the storm.

“Though models suggest it will weaken before making landfall on Thursday, and its ultimate route is still undetermined, Ian could result in severe weather damage for large parts of Georgia,” a press release from Kemp’s office says.

Update: Gov. Brian Kemp has declared a state of emergency. Here’s the full announcement: 

Atlanta, GA – Governor Brian P. Kemp today issued a State of Emergency order for all counties in Georgia in preparation for Hurricane Ian’s impact later in the week. As the storm moves through the state beginning on Friday and exiting on Sunday, heavy rainfall and damaging winds will be possible throughout Georgia. The State of Emergency will go into effect at 7:00am on Thursday, September 29, and will expire at midnight on Friday, October 28. You can read executive order here.

This latest executive action related to Hurricane Ian follows the activation of the State Operations Center on Monday morning, ensuring all relevant state, local, and federal agencies are closely coordinating on storm preparations and response. The Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) remains at a Level 2 elevated activation and continues to monitor Hurricane Ian’s progress. Governor Kemp, GEMA/HS officials, and other leaders are working closely with local officials on planned and implemented storm response. GEMA/HS also has teams standing by to deploy to affected counties, when appropriate.

Current Weather Overview:

Ian is now a Category 3 hurricane moving north at roughly 10 mph with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph. Further strengthening is expected, with Ian forecast to reach Category 4 status before slowly weakening tonight and during its expected landfall tomorrow and Thursday over west-central Florida. Starting Friday, Ian will likely impact Southeastern Georgia as a tropical storm or tropical depression with heavy rainfall. Though there is still uncertainty about its ultimate path on Friday and into the weekend, tropical storm force sustained winds of over 40 mph will be possible across all of Georgia on Friday and Saturday. Damaging winds will be possible statewide, even well away from the center of the storm, and downed trees and powerlines are possible statewide on Friday and Saturday. Widespread rainfall of 2 to 4 inches is also possible statewide, with 4 to 6 inches or more forecast in Southeast Georgia. Flash flooding, power outages, and other dangerous situations are possible, especially in Southeast Georgia.

A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for Camden and Glynn Counties, and a Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the remainder of the Georgia coast. Tropical storm conditions will be possible along the entire coastline of Georgia tomorrow through Saturday, with moderate to perhaps major coastal flooding, dangerous rip currents, and beach erosion all possible. Three to five feet of storm surge above ground level will be possible in surge-prone areas along the entire Georgia coast, and the heavy rainfall in Southeast Georgia could exacerbate any flooding issues that develop.

What Georgians Can Do To Prepare:

Governor Kemp urges all Georgians to remain weather alert and to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their families. Those directly impacted by the storm’s path are encouraged to consult GEMA/HS’ informational website that includes tips on storm preparedness before, during, and after a hurricane.

— Take appropriate action based on your location.

— Residents who are in vulnerable housing situations, including those in low-lying areas or at-risk floodplains, should consider relocating temporarily to higher ground.

— All of South and Coastal Georgia should pay close attention to guidance from local officials and review family emergency plans with those in their care.

We encourage everyone to start planning now by:

— Preparing Ready kits

— Reviewing communications plans for their families

— Paying attention to guidance from local officials and trusted news sources for the most up-to-date information.

Visiting www.gema.georgia.gov for more information.

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