SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP/WSPA) – Shifting forecasts raised the threat to the Southeast from fierce Hurricane Irma and prompted emergency declarations in the Carolinas and coastal Georgia, including areas that haven’t suffered a direct hit from a major hurricane in more than a century.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency Wednesday for the state’s 100-mile (160-kilometer) swath of Atlantic coast, which was last struck by a hurricane of force Category 3 or higher in 1898.
On Thursday, Deal expanded the state of emergency to 24 additional counties and ordered a mandatory evacuation for Savannah.
His South Carolina counterpart, Gov. Henry McMaster, declared an emergency for that neighboring state as officials assessed the chances of receiving a major hurricane strike there for the first time in nearly 28 years.