Gov. Deal tells Georgians, evacuees to hunker down for Irma

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Gov. Deal tells Georgians, evacuees to hunker down for Irma

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Branden Camp/Special
Gov. Nathan Deal holds a press conference at the State Operations Center at the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency on Sunday, Sept. in Atlanta, ahead of inclement weather that is expected to impact much of Georgia due to Hurricane Irma. 

With Hurricane Irma bearing down on Georgia, Governor Nathan Deal urged residents and evacuees alike Sunday to find a safe place and stay there until authorities give a signal that it is safe to go out.

The governor’s comments followed a tour of the State Operations Center at the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency. 

Parts of Georgia could get up to 7 inches of rain before Tuesday morning.

Irma is expected to reach Atlanta as a tropical storm on Monday, with 5 to 7 inches of rain and winds topping 60 mph.

Deal said 3,000 men and women from the National Guard are on call around the state, ready to respond to emergencies. 

"Virtually the entire state of Georgia is going to be impacted by this hurricane,” Governor Deal said. “There are certainly things we cannot control."

Deal said President Donald Trump called him early Sunday to offer assistance. 

Addressing the public, Deal emphasized that people should not try to drive under extreme weather conditions.

"We urge you to not get on the roads until you have been given clearance by everyone that is required to give the clearance,” Deal said.

Deal said he expected a broad swath of the state to be affected.

In response to a question about how the state’s plans had shifted with the course of the storm, Deal said the state had initially been focused on coastal areas. 

Albany residents await Hurricane Irma, which has the potential to open new wounds while the old still feel fresh. Video by Ryon Horne/RHORNE@AJC.COM

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