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Georgia governor orders mandatory evacuation for areas of the state ahead of Irma

In this geocolor image captured by GOES-16 and released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hurricane Irma, a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane, moves westward, Tuesday morning, Sept. 5, 2017, in the Atlantic Ocean toward the Leeward Islands. (NOAA via AP)

ATLANTA (WGXA) - With the threat of Hurricane Irma looming, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has expanded the state of emergency in the state to cover 24 additional counties and ordered the mandatory evacuation of some coastal areas.

A state of emergency was put in place Wednesday to cover six coastal counties, though Thursday's advisory was extended to cover Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Brantley, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Camden, Candler, Charlton, Chatham, Clinch, Coffee, Echols, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Glynn, Jenkins, Jeff Davis, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Pierce, Screven, Tattnall, Toombs, Treutlen, Wayne and Ware counties.

Deal also enacted a mandatory evacuation order for all areas east of I-95, all of Chatham County, and some areas west of I-95 that could be impacted by potential storm surge. Chatham County is home to one of Georgia's most populous cities, Savannah.

To see a map of mandatory evacuation areas, click here.

To assist with evacuations, contraflow will begin on I-16E from Dublin to Savannah beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday. This means that all eastbound lanes of I-16 beginning in Dublin will be converted into westbound lanes between the two locations.

For more information on the upcoming contraflow, click here.

Additionally, Deal authorized 5,000 Georgia National Guard members to be on state active duty to support Hurricane Irma response and recovery.

For more information, click here.

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