Georgia governor sticks with coastal evacuation

Georgia governor sticks with coastal evacuation

September 8th, 2017 by Associated Press in Breaking News

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal makes his budget address before the joint appropriations committee as House and Senate budget hearings opened for the 2017 session, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, at the Statehouse in Atlanta. (Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Georgia's governor is still urging nearly 540,000 residents of the state's coast to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Irma, even as forecasts show the storm's center could enter the state far inland after churning up the Florida peninsula.

Gov. Nathan Deal told a news conference Friday he's not expanding his evacuation order affecting Georgia's six coastal counties.

But Deal notes that Irma's path remains unpredictable, and forecasts show it could enter Georgia anywhere from the Atlantic coast to the Alabama state line.

The National Weather Service says Irma could still slam coastal Georgia with dangerous storm surge. And while the storm could arrive as a weakened tropical storm, some areas would still face heavy rains and an elevated risk of tornadoes.