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As Irma approaches, Georgia governor advises all to shelter in place

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal provides an update on Hurricane Irma from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency in Atlanta on Sunday, Sept. 10 / WGXA

ATLANTA (WGXA) - On Sunday afternoon at the Georgia Emergency Management Agency in Atlanta, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal provided an update on Hurricane Irma preparations in the state.

He said that although the storm has shifted slightly to the west from the path that was originally anticipated, it is so large that all of the state of Georgia will be impacted.

Deal said that state agencies have taken precautions in every area possible ahead of the storm, but he said that there are always factors that can't be controlled.

The hurricane initially appeared that it would have a near-direct impact on the coast of Georgia, including the city of Savannah. Deal previously enacted a mandatory evacuation order for Chatham County and other coastal areas. However, that order was amended Saturday to place some areas of Chatham County under a voluntary evacuation order.

Now, the storm appears to be headed toward southwest Georgia.

Deal urged all those who have not yet evacuated their homes to remain sheltered in place. He also urged everyone in the path of the storm to stay off of the roads.

"Shelter in place as much as possible. That’s the best advice we can give," he said.

He said that there are about 3,000 National Guard members staged throughout the state on standby to provide assistance wherever needed. Additionally, he said President Donald Trump called him Sunday morning to offer any federal help that the state may need.

Deal said he believes that federal assistance will "certainly" be necessary during the recovery effort following the storm.

He said the coastal areas of the state could see a storm surge of up to five feet and inland flooding.

All 159 Georgia counties are currently under a state of emergency in preparation for the storm.

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