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Shelters opening for out-of-state Irma evacuees

Shelters opening for out-of-state Irma evacuees”

Contraflow on I-16 will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday to allow for evacuations from coastal Georgia ahead of Hurricane Irma.

Mass evacuations from the islands and Florida have also completely booked the majority of hotels in Georgia.

North Carolina Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry said just after noon on Thursday that members of the North Carolina National Guard are being activated to help prep for Irma.

Predictions continue to show the storm weakening on its trek northward.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has expanded the state of emergency to include 24 additional counties. Traffic out of the city and its neighboring island communities appeared light. "We've had so many storms that look like they're coming straight at us, and they miss us every time". Forecasts call for Irma's center to arrive far inland in southern Georgia on Monday after it churns up the west coast of Florida.

Fisher said wind gusts could reach 45 miles per hour across central North Carolina beginning Monday afternoon and lasting through Tuesday morning, causing some isolated power outages and some trees to fall - but widespread wind damage now is not expected across the region.

Roy Cooper says people from the mountains to the coast need to be vigilant preparing for Hurricane Irma even as projections have a weakened storm entering the state well inland early next week.

"We could still see flooding that is similar to Matthew or worse", Jones said.

"We don't anticipate this will be a highly localized event", Hawkins said.



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