Hurricane Irma: News Updates

Update: Monday September 11, 2:35 p.m.- The National Weather Service has issued another alert at 2:34 p.m. stating an immediate flash flood warning for Bulloch, Effingham and Screven counties. The warning is in effect until 6:45 p.m. In Athens, Georgia winds are expected to reach 30 mph by 5 p.m.

Update: Monday September 11, 1:16 p.m.- The National Weather Service issued the most current alert at 12:32 p.m. stating that there is a flood warning continuing for St. Mary’s River in Camden, Georgia that will affect the Baker, Nassau, and Charlton counties. The river is located along the Georgia Florida state line.

Google map of St. Mary’s river in Camden, Georgia.

The flood warning will continue until further notice or until the warning is canceled.

According to the National Weather Service, the current the flood stage is 12 feet, meaning that there is minor flooding in low lying area’s and timber lands including properties along St. Mary’s river and the Cypress Landing Resort on the Georgia side.

The forecast is major flooding, with the river expected to raise to 22.8 feet by after midnight tomorrow and will then fall.

Athens, Georgia


Athens-Clarke County Georgia has issued information about temporary storm shelter locations .

The time and days of operation will differ according to location as well as capacity.

Update: Monday September  11, 11:30 a.m. – The National Weather Service issued warnings in Georgia.

Tropical Storm warnings have been issued for:

Quitman, Clay, Randolph, Calhoun, Terrell, Dougherty, Lee, Worth, Turner, Tift, Ben Hill, Irwin, Early, Miller, Baker, Mitchell, Colquitt, Cook, Berrien, Seminole, Decatur, Grady, Thomas, Brooks, Lowndes, Lanier

Immediate flash flood warnings are in effect for Bryan, Chatham, Liberty, and McIntosh. The flash flood warning in McIntosh expires at 2:15. The flash flood warnings in Bryan, Chatham, and Liberty expire at 12:15.

In Tift County, Sheriff Gene Scarbrough posted photos of a tree down on power lines blocking Ga. 125.

Update: Monday September  11, 9:55 a.m.- Hurricane Irma is slowing down as it degraded to a category 1 hurricane over night and is now a tropical storm as it makes its way through north Florida, and

Hurricane Irma is now downgraded to a tropical storms as it makes its way through most of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. Courtesy of the National Hurricane Center.

south Georgia. The National Weather Service has given an update as coastal Georgia is no longer under a hurricane warning and is now, along with majority of the Georgia counties, under a tropical storm warning.

Irma’s path through Georgia is quoted as “just the beginning” by The Weather Channel’s meteorologist Domenica Davis, as flooding begins in the southern regions and wind speeds pick up across the entirety of the state. Georgians should be mindful that even though Irma’s overall wind speed has drastically decreased since its path through the Caribbean and Florida, the wind gusts will still be very strong through the day.

Update: Sunday September  10, 11:18 p.m.- While weather conditions remain similar, Hurricane Irma is continuing to cause damage in Florida. The National Weather Service released a statement advising that the worst damage to South Carolina and parts of Georgia will occur Monday. Environmental Journalism at UGA will continue to update this page throughout the day Monday.

UGA Faculty and Staff can register for the UGA Alert system to receive updated information about university operations as this situation continues to develop.

Athens locals can monitor the progress of Hurricane Irma with the National Weather Service.


Update: Sunday September  10, 9:15 p.m.- About 3.3 million people in Florida have lost power as Hurricane Irma continues to move through the state. The storm is currently just North of Fort Myers, Florida and is moving North at 14 miles per hour.

Hurricane Irma is expected to go as far North as the midwest. (Photo/The Weather Channel).

Update: Sunday September  10, 7:15 p.m.- Hurricane Irma has been downgraded from a Category 3 to a Category 2 storm, and it continues to cause havoc in Southwest Florida. Wind gusts have been measuring around 80-90 miles per hour with a gust at 130 miles per hour recorded at Marco Island Emergency Operations Center.


Update: Sunday September  10, 6:15 p.m. – The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page posted some preemptive strikes.


Update: Sunday September  10, 5:00 p.m. – Because Gov. Nathan Deal has issued an Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency for all 159 counties in Georgia, state offices will be closed on Monday, Sept. 11, and Tuesday, Sept. 12. Therefore, classes at The University of Georgia have been cancelled for Monday and Tuesday, September 11-12.

– The University of Georgia (@universityofga)

Update: Sunday September  10, 2:15 p.m. — Irma has been downgraded to a Category 3. While the eye of the hurricane is on the western coast of Florida, the eastern coast is still experiencing heavy winds and rain. Tornado warnings have been increasing for areas in the outer bands of the storm.

Update: Sunday September 10, 1:45 p.m. — While the eye of the storm is on the western coast of Florida, the eastern coast is still experiencing heavy winds and rain. Governor Deal has expanded the State of Emergency for Georgia to all counties as Irma continues to move up the Florida coast. The path has Irma leading into Southern Georgia and up into the metro Atlanta area. More school closings in the area have followed, including Oconee County.

Update: Sunday September 10, 1:00 p.m. — Extreme wind warning issued in Collier County including Naples, Florida and Marco Island. Winds could reach above 115 mph.

Update: Sunday September 10, 12:15 p.m. — Hurricane Irma’s outer bands are moving through Miami-Dade County in Florida. As Irma moves up the coast of Florida, Georgia prepares for impact. Winds in Athens are reaching between 15 and 27 mph. Irma is expected to reach Georgia by Monday afternoon.

Update: Sunday, September 10, 11:15 a.m. — 1 million people have lost power as Hurricane Irma pummels Florida.

Update: Sunday, September 10, 10:45 a.m. — Irma has made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane along the Florida Keys, with winds reaching up to 130 mph.

At least three people are reported dead.

Current Wind, Radar, Watches and Warnings (

Hurricane Irma is now been predicted to travel north along the West coast of Florida.


September 10th 11 a.m Projected Path (

Naples, Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville, FL are forecast to receive between 8-12″ of rain through Thursday. Atlanta, Athens and Augusta, GA are forecast to receive 5-8″ of rain through Thursday.

Rainfall Forecast (

A live, interactive map of Hurricane Irma can be followed here.


Update: Saturday, September 9, 6:46 p.m. — Hurricane Irma now on it’s way to Florida and is expected to hit on Sunday morning, according The Weather Channel.

Even though Irma hasn’t hit, many resident’s in Florida are already finding themselves without power.

Hurricane Irma is also expected to cause storms in Georgia, which have led to school closings, including the University of Georgia.

The list of the current school closings can be found online on the AJC website.

Update: Saturday, September 9, 2:15 p.m. — According to National Hurricane Center , the current location of Hurricane Irma is lingering over the coast of Cuba, strong winds are expected to occur at daybreak at the Florida Keys.

Hurricane Jose is being tracked moving pass the north of the northern Leeward islands.

The remnants of the dissipating Hurricane Katia are over Mexico but heavy rains are expected to continue.

As Hurricane Irma has touched in Cuba, the hurricane has dissolved to a category 3, making it less impactful yet still extremely dangerous.


Update: Friday, September 8, 7:54 p.m. — The National Hurricane Center reports Hurricane Irma is expected to make landfall as a Category 5 storm between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. ET on Sunday.

Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said in a press release Friday morning will “be a threat that is going to devastate the United States.”

The National Weather Service’s Key West office tweeted this explicit warning in the wake of the updated forecast:

The worst of Irma’s winds and storm surge are projected to be near Marathon and Key Largo, but ABC News’ meteorologists say Miami and heavily populated southeastern Florida will still be on the strongest side of the storm.

Irma has already taken the lives of 23 people across the Caribbean.

Update: Friday, September 8, 5:24 p.m. — In a recent executive order, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has declared 64 more counties under state of emergency as Hurricane Irma approaches:

Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Baker, Baldwin, Ben Hill, Berrien, Bibb, Bleckley, Brantley, Brooks, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Calhoun, Camden, Candler, Charlton, Chatham, Chattahoochee, Clay, Clinch, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Crawford, Crisp, Decatur, Dodge, Dooly, Doughtery, Early, Echols, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Glynn, Grady, Harris, Houston, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Jones, Lamar,Lanier, Laurens, Lee, Liberty, Long, Lowndes, Macon, Marion, McIntosh, Meriwether, Miller, Mitchell, Monroe, Montgomery, Muscogee, Peach, Pierce, Pike, Pulaski, Quitman, Randolph, Schley, Screen, Seminole, Stewart, Sumter, Talbot, Tattnall, Taylor, Telfair, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Toombs, Treutlen, Troup, Turner, Twiggs, Upson, Ware, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Wheeler, Wilcox, Wilkinson and Worth.

The executive order states all Georgia resources will be made available to assist in preparation, response and recover in these counties.

The most recent National Hurricane Center public advisory notice reports Hurricane Irma is currently located about 345 miles south east of Miami, Florida, and is maintaining maximum wind speeds of 155 miles per hour.

(Source: The Weather Channel)

Update: Friday, September 8, 3:00 p.m.: — As predictions of Hurricane Irma’s path towards Georgia continue, the University of Georgia’s Office of Emergency Preparedness has sent out an email to UGA students, faculty and staff to give more information.

UGA’s facilities along the coast of Georgia are closing and evacuating, but as for the main campus in Athens, there are no definitive plans yet.

The Office of Emergency Preparedness said that once they have more information they will send out another update by 2 p.m. at the latest, on Sunday, September 10.

According to UGA they are “carefully monitoring the trajectory of Hurricane Irma, and the safety of our university community is our top priority.”

UGA encourages students, faculty and staff to continue checking the University’s official channels for updates as the severity of the storm’s potential in Athens continues to be assessed over the weekend.


The full email sent by UGA’s Office of Emergency Preparedness


Update: Friday, September 8, 11:24 a.m.: — Irma has broken quite a few records already, and is continuing to astound meteorologists.

Photo credit to the New York Times


USA Today has found that the wind, energy, and barometric pressure of Hurricane Irma has already broken records of previous hurricanes.

The 185 mile an hour winds were sustained for 37 hours, and was especially deadly when they came into contact with the Caribbean Islands.

Irma approaches Florida and the Keys with full impact of a Category 4 hurricane. Scientists predict that when Hurricane Irma does reach Georgia and South Carolina, while it will be less severe, there is risk of flooding and wind damage.

Update: Friday, September 8, 8:56 a.m.: —Hurricane Irma hit Turks and Caicos last night, and the storm shows no signs of slowing down.

Photo Credit to Google Crisis Response

The island of Turks and Caicos was the latest in the Caribbean located in Irma’s path towards to United States.

Although Hurricane Irma is now a Category 4 instead of Category 5, the damage done was drastic. NPR reports that winds topped the Hurricane scale and waves reached 20ft. in height.

The National Hurricane Center’s bulletin updates explain predictions about areas that are going to be hit, as well as different areas being watched.

Update: Thursday, September 7, 6:25 p.m.: — While Georgia residents fear Irma impact, the government of Cuba has issued an evacuation.

Photo credit: National Hurricane Center

The Cuban keys along the north shore are being evacuated, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Meanwhile, a tropical storm warning is in effect for the Dominican Republic.

As for Florida residents, they can expect devastating winds this weekend. The storm will surge up the Southeast coast beginning Monday next week. The Weather Channel is keeping a live watch on Irma.

Update: Thursday, September 7, 4:15 p.m.: — South Carolina residents urged to begin evacuation.

(Photo Credit: The Weather Channel)

Governor Henry McMaster is expecting to issue a mandatory evacuation for South Carolina residents at 10 a.m. Saturday morning.

Irma remains a category 4 hurricane as it approaches south Florida and the Keys. Category 4 hurricanes have the possibility to cause complete building failures, downed trees, and damage to power lines.

Traffic continues to increase as Florida residents seek shelter in northern Florida and Georgia.

While it is too soon so know if and when Irma will come ashore, models show Florida, Georgia, South Carolina in its tracks.

Update: Thursday, September 7, 2:30 p.m.: — Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine issued an evacuation from the city, as the hurricane moves closer.

(Photo Credit: National Hurricane Center)

As of 2:00 p.m. Thursday afternoon, Mayor Philip Levine has warned residents to evacuate the city of Miami Beach, Florida.

Hurricane Irma is moving through  the north coast of Hispaniola and the Turks and Caicos, expected to turn towards southern Florida this weekend.

The eye of the category 5 storm is extremely dangerous. It thrashed through Barbuda earlier today, damaging 95% of its buildings.


Update: Thursday, September 7, 1:30 p.m.: — Governor Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency and issued a mandatory evacuation order for parts of Georgia due to Hurricane Irma.

(Photo Credit: Georgia Governor Website)

According to the Georgia Governor website, thirty Georgia Counties are under the state of emergency including: 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. Governor Deal intends on holding a news conference on Friday morning to address storm preparation plans.

Hurricane Irma is a category 5 hurricane with winds up to 185 mph. Irma has already hit islands in the Caribbean including Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. According to the National Hurricane Center, Irma is predicted to hit Florida early Sunday morning.







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