Emergency Management officials on the Georgia coast said Wednesday that the area will likely see some effect from Hurricane Irma, though it was too soon to tell how strong the storm would be or whether evacuations would be ordered. Those decisions could come this weekend.
In the meantime, emergency management agencies on the coast were urging residents to monitor the storm and prepare in case it hits.
Irma is one of the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricanes ever recorded, and its wind speeds remain about 150 miles per hour, with stronger gusts. As this monster churns through the Caribbean and heads toward Florida, here is the lowdown.
The National Hurricane Center says Irma is now a Category 4 storm. It has maximum sustained winds of 155 mph.
Updated at 11 p.m. ET
Hurricane Irma continued its northwestward sweep Thursday evening, losing little steam as it skirted the Dominican Republic and Haiti and bearing the full force of its 165-mph winds down upon the southeastern Bahamas and away from the Turks and Caicos islands. Forecasters upgraded their alert for South Florida to a warning.
Hotels across the South are booking up, as people leave the coast ahead of Hurricane Irma.
All it takes is a quick look at any of the online booking sites to see. Georgia’s hotel rooms are sold out. Brigette Lee is the director of sales of the Holiday Inn on the north side of Macon, Georgia. She says people leaving the South Carolina barrier islands beat Floridians to the punch by looking for rooms as long ago as last Friday.