Hurricane Irma: Saturday Night Update and Recap

While the predicted path of Hurricane Irma has shifted westward, Chatham County is still predicted to experience dangerous conditions related to high winds, storm surge and flooding.

Chatham County is under a tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch until further notice. The area will begin to experience tropical storm force winds at approximately midnight Sunday night.

NOAA forecasters predict wind speeds of 39-57 mph, with higher gusts for Chatham County.

Weather conditions are also favorable for the formation of tornadoes.


· In response to possible hazards associated with Hurricane Irma, the Georgia Department of Transportation will close the Talmadge Bridge beginning at noon Sunday as a precautionary measure.


· Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has issued an amended evacuation order for those in Chatham County.

· Areas of Chatham County in Zone A (RED) – generally east of Truman Parkway -- remain under a mandatory evacuation.

· Zones B (ORANGE) and C (PURPLE) are now under a general, or voluntary, evacuation order.

· Residents who wish to evacuate may continue doing so. Those being transported to shelter via public resources will be brought back into Chatham County when it is safe to do so. The EAA helped 2,500 people evacuate on Saturday alone.

· CEMA is encouraging those who have evacuated to remain sheltered until the storm is over and the area has been determined safe for return. However, residents may enter and move around Chatham County.

· I-16 contraflow ended Saturday afternoon

· Those who decide to enter or remain in Chatham County should be aware that once winds reach 39 MPH, emergency services such as police, fire and ambulance will be suspended until weather permits. Emergency 911 service remains active.


· Chatham County is under a Storm Surge Warning.

· Storm surge at the high tides may result in flooded roads. High tides created by strong onshore winds will also enhance the risk of flooding at the coast where drainage systems have potential to fill with seawater.

· The National Weather Service predicts U.S. 80 to Tybee Island will be under 4 to 5 feet of water during the Monday afternoon high tide, and 2 to 4 feet of water during the Tuesday morning high tide. The time of greatest storm surge threat is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

· Drivers should avoid standing water. Only six inches of water can sweep a vehicle from the roadway.

· Beyond storm-surge related flooding, rain will also create a flooding hazard. Chatham County is under a Flash Flood Watch from Sunday evening into late Monday as Hurricane Irma impacts our region. Peak rainfall for coastal Georgia may range from 6 to 12 inches, with higher amounts in some areas.

The Evacuation Assembly Area will open again tomorrow (Sunday) at 8 a.m.


· A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Chatham County

· A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for Chatham County

· A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for parts of Chatham County

· A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Chatham County


· The City of Port Wentworth evacuation assistance:

· Anyone wishing to evacuate must be at City Hall Sunday morning by 10 AM

· The bus will leave promptly at 10 AM

· If someone needs a ride to City Hall, please call Mayor Glenn Jones at (912) 657-2889 and arrangements for pick-up will be made


· The City of Bloomingdale:

    • They have no plans to turn off water service
    • If residents lose power the septic system grinder pump motor will not work


  • The Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport has suspended all flights.
  • Airport officials are asking the public to contact their airline directly for information.
  • All commercial air carrier operations have ceased at Savannah/Hilton Head International in anticipation of Hurricane Irma’s arrival.  

    Airport parking is open and accessible. Customers who wish to return a rental car may utilize the drop boxes located at the rental car counters if an attendant is not on duty. 

    Up-to-date flight information can be found on, airline websites, and social media pages. Please monitor Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport's Facebook page or follow us on twitter @fly_SAV for the latest information concerning airport operations.

    The public is urged not to call the airport but to contact the airlines directly for the most current flight information. Calls to the airport made during this time period will reach emergency operations personnel.

Chatham County Sheriff’s Deputies will be patrolling unincorporated areas of Chatham County with a total of 89 Sheriff’s cars and SUVs. The areas that will be covered are; Unincorporated Islands Area including Wilmington Island and Whitemarsh Island. Southeast Chatham County including Dutch Island, Isle of Hope, Skidaway Island, Burnside Island, Ferguson Avenue, Whitfield Avenue and the Montgomery/Beaulieu West Chatham including Southbridge, Berwick, Quacco Road, Little Neck Road,      Hwy 17, Hwy 204, and King George Blvd.                        

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