ATLANTA — The National Weather Service (NWS) issued hurricane and tropical storm warnings on Wednesday, Aug. 30, for several counties in the south central and southeast portions of Georgia and a watch in other areas as Hurricane Idalia makes landfall.
Georgie Gov. Brian P. Kemp issued a state of emergency declaration for all of Georgia to provide for emergency assistance in anticipation of Hurricane Idalia and its effects on the counties in its path.
According to a news release, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is preparing on a statewide level in partnership with the governor’s office, Georgia Emergency Management Agency, the National Weather Service and state and local officials.
“The traveling public’s safety is a top priority as Georgia DOT readies for expected weather conditions,” the news release stated. “Maintaining Georgia’s bridges and thousands of miles of state routes and interstates is essential before, during and after the storm.”
Statewide, GDOT crews are prepared to activate and deploy as needed, officials said.
Motorists are advised of the following:
- Motorists traveling on interstates and state routes should be wary of the possibility of falling trees due to high winds. GDOT is actively engaged in the removal of trees and overgrown brush along state rights-of-way in an effort to mitigate the possibility of falling trees across roadways, a particular danger during hurricanes and tropical storms.
- Expected rainfall brings the possibility of flash flooding in some areas of Georgia. Motorists should take caution and be prepared to turn around when encountering water in the road. Do not drive around barricades. Vehicles can get swept away by as little as twelve inches of moving water.
- Please do not attempt to clear debris from the roads. Downed live power lines can be entangled in fallen trees and branches and can be deadly, so please allow Georgia DOT and Georgia Power crews to do this important work safely.
- Motorists are advised to treat intersections with non-operational signals as a four-way stop.
- Residents choosing to leave south or coastal Georgia ahead of the storm are advised to consult 511, state maps and wayfinding apps to determine the best, least congested route to ensure safe travel.
- To help facilitate easier travel, GDOT has suspended construction work in southern and coastal Georgia. This includes all construction work at the I-16/I-95 interchange, effective immediately.
“We urge motorists to pay attention to warnings and advisories to stay off the roads due to the potential for tornadoes, extreme high winds, flash flooding and downed trees,” said Emily Fish, GDOT’s assistant state maintenance engineer for emergency operations.
GDOT’s maintenance staff and bridge inspectors will be available once the dangerous weather conditions subside to patrol the interstates, state roadways and bridges to assist in identifying potential hazards or negative impacts to travel.
In the event that flooding occurs, for their safety, crews will wait until water recedes to assess the situation. If motorists see flash flooding, trees down or other obstructions on roadways or bridges impeding travel, they are urged to contact 511 and speak with an operator to report the incidents. Do not try to clear downed power lines from roadways or other areas. Instead, wait for emergency crews.
Motorists are also reminded to not hinder GDOT crews as they work to clear debris.
Additionally, the public should monitor local radio and TV stations for the latest details on weather conditions and possible evacuations.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.