Georgia, Carolinas Prepare for Possible Hurricane Irma Coastal Strike

Gulf Co. Prepares for Hurricane Irma; Declares Emergency

"We think we are as well prepared as we could possibly be", he said in the Oval Office. Jones told a news conference Wednesday in Savannah that it's possible Irma could strike the Georgia coast early next week as a powerful Category 3 or 4 hurricane.

Acting on a recommendation from the state's Emergency Operations Command in anticipation of Hurricane Irma, Gov. Nathan Deal issued a state of emergency for 30 coastal counties.

Cooper added that many North Carolinians still lack a permanent home after being displaced by Hurricane Matthew a year ago, and they will need to be cared for.

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North Carolina is still several days away from feeling the effects of Irma, but could begin to feel wind from the storm Sunday and see rough surf and beach erosion as early as today. "This state of emergency also ensures aid for the six counties potentially impacted by this catastrophic storm". This includes all counties in the evacuation order, among others in southeastern Georgia. Students were evacuated Thursday morning, and the campus will be closed Friday, the report added.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMasters says he "intends" to issue an evacuation order for 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Meanwhile, McMaster signed an executive order Thursday calling for the immediate evacuation of 143 hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities in eight coastal counties.

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