Original (published at 3:38 p.m.):
Georgia’s top emergency management official said he expects Gov. Brian Kemp to declare a state of emergency because of Hurricane Ian this afternoon.
Chris Stallings, head of Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, made the announcement just after 2 p.m. that all 159 counties will be included in the emergency declaration because of the strong winds expected.
“This afternoon you’ll see that the Governor will be issuing a statement where we’ll be declaring a state of emergency that will encompass all state resources,” he said.
Hurricane Ian is currently a Category 3 storm expected to land just south of Tampa on Florida’s west coast in the next couple days, causing Florida officials to require that residents evacuate their homes. While the storm’s effects in Florida could be catastrophic, Stallings advised that Georgians in vulnerable housing and low-lying area prone to flooding should consider “a temporary relocation to higher ground. Georgians along the coast were placed on alert earlier Tuesday.
“This storm is changing rapidly and probably going to change more throughout the course of the next couple days,” Stallings said.
Stallings said coastal Georgians should expect flooding, with most areas likely to receive between four and six inches of rain and eight inches of rain in some spots. The coast should brace for thee to five feet of storm surge, he said, along with rip currents and beach erosion.
“We’re anticipating trees falling as well as a lot of power lost,” he said.
Stallings said federal emergency management units are positioned in Atlanta and Middle Georgia to help with the aftermath on Friday and over the weekend.