All Georgia counties under state of emergency alert

The company is holding all Georgia Power resources in Georgia in advance of Hurricane Irma and is in touch with other mutual assistance network utilities to ensure coordination and access to additional resources if needed following the storm.

Irma was initially expected to wallop Georgia's coast, leading Deal to order a mandatory evacuation for coastal communities.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal is making a public address to the state after Irma.

The barrier islands in the southern part of the state could be under 4 to 6 feet of water from Irma's surge as the hurricane moves a couple of hundred miles to the east, officials said.

"We'll start to see some of those very light rain showers work their way into the south metro, then become more widespread as we head throughout the morning period", Walls said.

The storm could bring up to 20 inches in southeast Georgia, according to the National Weather Service, which warned that significant river flooding was possible Monday and Tuesday.

The former hurricane remained an huge, 415-mile (668-kilometer) wide storm as its center moved on from Florida Monday afternoon, giving its still-formidable gusts and drenching rains a far reach. That storm caused three deaths in Georgia and an estimated $500 million in damage. Alabama Emergency Management Agency meteorologist Jim Stefcovich said strong winds could linger in the state until 2 am today.

So where should evacuating residents go? How many people in the dangerously exposed, low-lying islands defied evacuation orders and stayed behind was unclear. Forecasts called for Irma's center to be near the Georgia-Florida line Monday morning, though the exact path and storm intensity remained uncertain.

SC could also see heavy rain and flooding in some inland regions. Thursday and Friday's early dismissal for parent-teacher conferences will go on as planned.

North Carolina has opened four shelters for hurricane evacuees across the state.

Gov. Roy Cooper said in a news release Sunday night that the National Guard was staging in Asheville, Charlotte and Greensboro to be ready to respond to any problems.

On Tybee Island east of Savannah, Ernie Laessig wasn't taking any chances with Irma.

In some locations, the peak coastal flooding could top what was seen during Matthew last October.

Emboldened by improving forecasts for the region, many in the Charleston area had begun to lean toward staying rather than face the frustrating prospect of being stuck in traffic gridlock getting out.

"Again, fuel will be an issue, and we are urging everyone to consider that in their decision to return home".

It's the second time in less than a year that Georgia coastal residents have been told to flee a storm.

Tropical storm winds reached more than 644 kilometers from its center, giving its powerful gusts and drenching rains a far reach.

The storms passing also left many without electricity.

Officials have not given any official timeline yet as to when they will let people back in the county. Worth County sheriff's spokeswoman Kannetha Clem said the man use a ladder to climb onto a shed Monday morning as sustained winds in the county exceeded 40 miles per hour (65 kph). It's also a challenging time for Harvey victims who evacuated to Miami.

  • Leroy Wright