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Hurricane Information
 Hurricane Irma News and Information

The City of Savannah will use this web page to post informational updates on Hurricane Irma and its impacts on our community.


More information, including weather updates and storm tracking, can be found at the Chatham Emergency Agency website (www.chathamemergency.org).

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, Georgia Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Division (GA DNR CRD) recognizes the need for local communities and residents to begin the process of returning to life as we know it.

In response, Georgia’s DNR will activate a call center Monday, September 18, 2017 to gather information about impacts to beach front property, private docks, bank stabilizations, marinas, commercial docks, or other structures within coastal waters, marshlands, or along barrier island beaches. Staff will also be available to answer questions about permitting/regulatory processes and needs for areas impacted within the jurisdiction of the State’s Shore Protection Act (SPA) and/or Coastal Marshlands Protection Act (CMPA).

The call center number is (912) 264-7218 and will operate between the hours of 8 AM and 4:30 PM. 

Additional information can be accessed through CRD’s website: 

http://coastalgadnr.org/HurricaneIrma



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Updates
9 a.m. Wednesday, September 13
The City will resume the regular trash pick-up schedule on Thursday, September 14. Today crews are doing general debris removal to ensure all streets are clear. Residents will see trash trucks in their neighborhood today, but should not expect to have the pick-up schedule resumed until tomorrow.

City parking garages are operating normally. On street parking will be free today and regular operations will resume tomorrow. If you left your vehicle in a City parking garage for the storm, you must remove it by 5 p.m. today to avoid being charged.
5 p.m. Tuesday, September 12
City of Savannah Water
There are currently no issues with City of Savannah water. Rumors persist that a boil water notice is in effect, but it is not and has never been during this weather event. Your City of Savannah water is safe to use! If you are not on City of Savannah water, please check with your provider for the latest information.

Curfew
There will be no curfew tonight in Chatham County.
12:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 12
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 currently inaccessible. Assessment of Hwy 80 needs to be completed and your patience is appreciated. State and local partners need your assistance in ensuring equipment and personnel can access all portions of Hwy 80 in an effort to expedite the re-opening.
 
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 and the Bull River 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 pick-up.   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.

6:30 a.m. Tuesday September 12
Curfew lifted at 6 a.m. Wide spread power outages persist. To report an outage to Georgia Power, call 1-888-891-0938 or visit their website at 
https://www.georgiapower.com/in-your-community/storm-center/report-outage.cshtml

Regular City operations will resume tomorrow, Wednesday September 13, at 8 a.m.. Parking meters and garages will remain free until then.
6 p.m. Monday, September 11
A curfew will be in effect from 11 p.m. tonight until 6 a.m. tomorrow morning. Chatham County is open for re-entry, but the City of Savannah and Chatham County strongly encourages residents to wait until tomorrow to return if possible. Conditions will be safer then, and there is a greater probability of having power on if you wait.

Irma Update
3 p.m. Monday, September 11
We've received many reports of low-lying roads being inundated by coastal tides, primarily the islands and areas adjacent to marsh. You can check the latest reported road closures at http://www.chathamcounty.org/Road-Closures
7 a.m. Monday, September 11
The City will closely monitor weather and wind conditions throughout the day. Fire and Police will suspend response to calls if conditions pose a threat to personnel.

Please call "311" to report downed trees and power lines, or use the online form at www.savannahga.gov/311. Please call "911" for emergencies that require an immediate response from our first responders.

Residents who did not evacuate are urged to shelter in place and avoid the roads. Please follow us on Twitter or Facebook for the latest updates.
5 p.m. Sunday, September 10
Curfew will be in effect for all of Chatham County from 10 p.m. Sunday, September 10 until 6 a.m. Monday, September 11. 

The following people will be allowed to move about the county during the curfew:
  • Authorized and essential law enforcement personnel;
  • Authorized and essential health care providers;
  • Authorized and essential personnel of the county and municipalities;
  • Authorized National Guard or federal military personnel;
  • Authorized and essential firefighters;
  • Authorized and essential emergency response personnel;
  • Authorized and essential personnel or volunteers working with or through the county emergency management agency (CEMA);
  • Authorized and essential utility repair crews;
  • Citizens seeking to restore order to their homes or businesses while on their own property or place of business; and
  • Other authorized and essential persons as designated on a list compiled by EMA, the Director of Public Safety and/or the Sheriff of the county.
 For questions, contact the Emergency Operations Center at 912-201-4500.
11 a.m. Sunday, September 10
Residents need to be mindful that Chatham County and surrounding coastal counties are under a Hurricane Watch.  This means the possibility exists for tornadoes and tropical storm force winds for the affected areas. Expected winds for Chatham County are 30-40 mph sustained and 50 mph gusts. Furthermore, this includes storm surge of 4-6 feet above high tide. These are the same levels experienced during Hurricane Matthew.

The Evacuation Assembly Area (EAA) at the Savannah Civic Center will close at 1 p.m. today to ensure adequate travel time to get evacuees to shelter. Domesticated animals may evacuate with you, but must be in a crate and also have immunization records. Please do not leave your pets outside.
 
Residents, evacuating from the EAA, will be transported to a shelter and then brought back into Chatham County when conditions are safe. Areas of Chatham County in Zone A remain under a mandatory evacuation. Zones B and C of Chatham County are still under a general evacuation order.

A curfew will be in effect in Chatham County from 10 PM Sunday, September 10, 2017 until 6 AM Monday, September 11, 2017.
7 a.m. Sunday, September 10
The Talmadge Bridge is closing today (Sunday) at Noon. 

The Evacuation Assembly Area at the Savannah Civic Center will open again today (Sunday) at 8 AM. 

For the most up to date information, look at our social media pages. For questions, contact CEMA's Emergency Operations Center 912-201-4500. 
4 p.m. Saturday, September 9
Governor Deal has amended Chatham County evacuation orders. Zone A remains mandatory evacuation order. Zones B & C are now general evacuation.
The Evacuation Assembly Area is still going to help those that wish to leave. 
8 a.m. Saturday, September 9
Evacuation zone times have been established for all of Chatham County. However, citizens may leave before their evacuation zone time begins if desired. The contraflow for I-16 will start at 8 AM today. 
  • Zone A: 8 AM – 12 PM Saturday
  • Zone B: 12 PM – 8 PM Saturday
  • Zone C: 8 AM – 12 PM Sunday

Evacuation Zones

The Evacuation Assembly Area (EAA) will open at the Savannah Civic Center at 8 AM. Citizens will be transported from the EAA to an inland county shelter. The EAA will stop accepting passengers at 7 PM tonight. To ensure a place on the shuttles, residents should plan to arrive at the EAA during the morning. The EAA will begin taking passengers again at 8 AM on Sunday. 

The EAA requests the following:
  • Two bags or pieces of luggage per person.
  • If evacuating with an animal, only domesticated animals will be accepted. Animals must be in a crate and have shot records.
1 p.m. Friday, September 8
Chatham Area Transit will be providing free service tomorrow (Saturday, September 9) for those in need of transportation to the evacuation staging area in downtown Savannah.

From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, downtown routes will be redirected to serve the staging area at the Civic Center and routes that don’t travel downtown will connect with routes that do.

Passengers with pets will be able to bring their animals in carriers to the staging area. Other belongings should be limited to two small bags as space will be limited.
10 a.m. Friday, September 8
Hurricane Irma is now a Category 4 storm and is 839 miles southeast of Chatham County at this time and is moving west-northwest at 16 miles per hour. The maximum wind speeds are 155 miles per hour. 

There is still a mandatory evacuation in place for all zones of Chatham County beginning at 8am on Saturday. 
4 p.m. Thursday, September 7
Visitor Centers
The City of Savannah municipally-owned visitor centers will be closed starting on Friday, September 8 due to Hurricane Irma.  This includes the Tri-Centennial Visitor Center located at 301 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, River Street Visitor Center and Ellis Square Visitor Center.  An email will be sent once operations resume at these facilities.

City Cemeteries
All active municipal cemeteries including Bonaventure, Greenwich, and Laurel Grove North and South will be closed to the public until further notice starting at 2 PM on Thursday, September 7.  Colonial Cemetery gates will be closed at 8 PM on Thursday, September 7 and remain closed until further notice.  

Funerals already scheduled for Friday, September 8 will be conducted as planned.  Only family and friends in the funeral procession will be admitted into the cemetery, which will be closed to the public. All funerals for Saturday, or later will be rescheduled.
 
Following the storm, the City will assess the condition of the cemeteries and open them once they are safe for the public.  

Cemetery personnel will be available to answer your questions from 8 AM to 5 PM at (912) 658-4132.  Updates will also be provided on the Cemeteries page of the City of Savannah website. 
2 p.m. Thursday, September 7
At noon today, Governor Nathan Deal issued a mandatory evacuation for those in Chatham County. This mandatory evacuation begins on Saturday September 9, 2017 at 8 AM. An evacuation will occur for functional, access, and medical needs citizens on Friday September 8, 2017 at 8 AM. The contraflow for I-16 will begin at 8 AM on Saturday as well. Tybee Island Mayor Jason Beulterman has announced evacuation for Tybee Island will start on Friday morning at 8 AM due to the high tides on Hwy. 80 and subsequent flooding.  The Evacuation Assembly Area will open at 8 AM at the Civic Center.

Shelters are in the process of opening across Georgia. To find a shelter please call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

A local state of emergency has been issued today at 2 PM. Enacting this ordinance allows CEMA to use the full resource of the county and municipalities.  Other provisions of the ordinance include, prohibiting price gouging, issuing evacuation orders, suspending laws that are in conflict with the Emergency Management Ordinance, and the authority to establish curfews. Citizens can report price gouging by calling the Georgia Department of Law's Consumer Protection Unit at 404-651-8600 or 1-800-869-1123.

The Chatham Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) is closely monitoring Hurricane Irma and is coordinating response efforts with local, regional, and state agencies. CEMA went into OPCON 3 at 2 PM today, which is the Readiness Phase and implements additional coordination activities.

Irma, is a Category 5 Hurricane with maximum sustained winds at 175 mph, moving west/northwest at 16 mph and tropical storm force winds extending 185 miles from the center of the storm. Residents and businesses should monitor official sources for current weather information.

Community-wide preparations include:

Preparing partners, property and your family for storm conditions. Secure any items that can easily be blown around by strong winds.
Ensure fuel tanks are topped off and finalize personal emergency kits and communication plans.
Coordinate with family, friends and co-workers to ensure awareness and timing of storm potential.
Follow official sources for storm updates.
All partners that have a responsibility in the County's Emergency Operations Plan should take this time to ensure you are ready to support.
Ensure you have an accurate inventory or video record of the contents of your home.
12 p.m. Thursday, September 7
City to close non-emergency services at 2 p.m. today

All City of Savannah non-emergency customer services will close at 2 p.m. today through Tuesday, Sept. 12, to allow City staff to begin preparing for and recovering from Hurricane Irma. This includes:

  • Sanitation services, including garbage collection and the landfill
  • Development services, including permitting and inspections
  • Business services, such as business tax certificates
  • Community services, including community centers
  • Utility services, including bill payment

All City garages will be closed, except for the State Street Garage, which will remain free and open to the public through the storm event.

Residents are asked to secure garbage and recycling carts prior to the approach of Hurricane Irma.
9:30 a.m. Thursday, September 7
Update from Coastal Health District:
Applications for the Chatham County Functional, Access, and Medical Needs Registry will not be taken after 5 p.m. today, Thursday, September 7. For more information on the Registry, please call (912) 691-7443.
6 a.m. Thursday, September 7
Latest update from CEMA on Hurricane Irma:
Hurricane Irma is currently 1135 miles SE of Chatham County. Maximum sustained winds are 180 MPH and the storm is moving west-northwest at 17 MPH. 

CEMA will continue to monitor the storm and will be meeting with the Chatham County Command Policy Group later this morning. 

Please ensure that your emergency kit is ready to go and you have made plans if an evacuation order is given. If you need assistance evacuating, take a look on our website at the Evacuation Assembly Area. This is how individuals in Chatham County can catch a free ride to an inland county shelter for safety during the storm. This will be activated if/when an evacuation order is given. 
3 p.m. Wednesday, September 6
Governor Deal declares State of Emergency for six Georgia counties, including Chatham.
11 a.m. Wednesday, September 6 
The Chatham Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) is closely monitoring Hurricane Irma. The 11 a.m. advisory states that Irma is still a category 5 Hurricane with maximum sustained winds at 185 mph, moving at 16 mph. The storm is currently 1,423 miles southeast of Chatham County. 

If Irma does impact Chatham County, a primary concern is the safety and well-being of those with functional, access, or medical needs. The Coastal Health District is still accepting applications for the Functional Access and Medical Needs Registry. Residents who wish to apply should call (912) 691-7443.

Chatham County residents are strongly encouraged to begin preparations for potential impacts. Preparations can include:
  • Creating or updating family communications plans
  • Gathering supplies for a family emergency kit
  • Knowing which evacuation zone you live in
  • Follow official sources for storm updates, including this site, chathamemergency.org and our social media sites
  • Secure any items that can easily be blown around by strong winds





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