As many in the Metro-Atlanta area braced for heavy winds and rains on Monday, other Georgian’s were forced to evacuate their homes before Hurricane Irma reached the peach state.
Gov. Nathan Deal issued a state of emergency for six coastal counties ahead of heavy rains, strong wind and potential flooding from Hurricane Irma including Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Glynn, Liberty and McIntosh Counties.
Evacuations from the Southeastern coastal region of Georgia began Friday morning, with busses removing evacuees around 8am.
“Any possessions on the inside, that can be replaced. We can make new memories, but we can’t replace their lives,” said Brunswick, Georgia resident Malachi Morris, who evacuated Friday afternoon with his wife, two children, mother-in-law, two sister-in-law and their children.
Morris is no stranger to leaving his home due to a natural disaster, as he was forced to evacuate his family last year during Hurricane Matthew. He has learned from a neighbor that did not leave that a has tree fallen into his yard and missed his house by inches. Currently, his family staying with family members in Acworth, Georgia and waiting until the Glynn county re-entry restriction is uplifted to return home.
“I’m urging the people to listen the authorities,” said Captain Angela Smith, the Public information officer for Brunswick Police Department in Glynn county during an exclusive phone conversation with CBS Atlanta’s Julien Virgin.
She recommended people stay up to date with the county’s Facebook pages for new information on when to get back home adding, “I know everybody ready to come home, but we want everybody safe when they come home. We don’t want people to come home without power, without water, and streets that are full of debris.”
Glynn county emergency management simulates evacuation procedures throughout the year for catastrophes like Irma and is currently in Phase 2 of re-entry. The National guard is only allowing Georgia Power, Nurses and 1st responders into the county at this time.
As thousands of Georgian’s attempt to return home following Hurricane Irma, Morris said, “you want to remember what’s most important to you. To me, it’s making sure my family is safe.”
- Julien Virgin is a staff writer at CBS Radio Atlanta.