Hurricane Irma headed to Metro Atlanta! See Video!

ATLANTA – The track of Hurricane Irma has the storm now has metro Atlanta taking a direct hit from Hurricane Irma. “At this point, preliminary totals 3 to 6 inches...

ATLANTA – The track of Hurricane Irma has the storm now has metro Atlanta taking a direct hit from Hurricane Irma.

“At this point, preliminary totals 3 to 6 inches of rainfall. That means locations with poor drainage areas, we could be dealing with minor flooding,” Walls said.

Walls said the metro could see sustained winds of 40-50 mph, with 70 mph gusts not out of the question.

“If you have things that could blow around, please bring them inside,” Walls said.

Walls said there is a chance for isolated tornadoes.

“Unfortunately, as that track nears Georgia and nears the metro, we will be looking at isolated tornado potential,” Walls said.

Storm surge along the Georgia coast may produce coastal flooding with each high tide from midday Saturday through Monday.X

Irma was downgraded to to a Category 4 hurricane early Friday morning.

Severe Weather Team 2’s Katie Walls said the storm is expected to hit the Miami area as a Category 4 hurricane Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

Sunday evening, Irma is expected to weaken to a Category 3 storm as it moved up the middle of the state.

By Monday evening, the storm will continue to weaken and move into Georgia, eventually becoming a tropical storm as it reaches middle Georgia around 7 p.m.

Severe Weather Team 2’s team of five meteorologists will be working non-stop throughout the next few days as Hurricane Irma gets closer to Georgia. Stay tuned to Channel 2 Action News and check back with WSBTV.com as we continue to track the storm’s progress and the impact it will have on Georgia. 

Walls said the worst of what the metro will see will come late Monday night into Tuesday morning.

“At this point, preliminary totals 3 to 6 inches of rainfall. That means locations with poor drainage areas, we could be dealing with minor flooding,” Walls said.

Walls said the metro could see sustained winds of 40-50 mph, with 70 mph gusts not out of the question.

“If you have things that could blow around, please bring them inside,” Walls said.

Walls said there is a chance for isolated tornadoes.

“Unfortunately, as that track nears Georgia and nears the metro, we will be looking at isolated tornado potential,” Walls said.

Storm surge along the Georgia coast may produce coastal flooding with each high tide from midday Saturday through Monday.

Georgia National Guard prepares for Irma
A massive federal, state and local response is underway as Hurricane Irma churns closer to the East Coast.

Thursday afternoon, the Georgia National Guard set up its joint operations center.

Guard leaders told Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant they have already marshaled a wide range of resources for when Irma hits Georgia and the missions start rolling in from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.

“At this point, we’re watching the same storm you’re watching barreling across the Atlantic,” Brig. Gen. Thomas Carden, of the Georgia Army National Guard, told Diamant.

 

The Georgia National Guard joint operations center in Cobb County is already up and running 24-7 while Irma rips a deadly path towards the Georgia coast.

“The minute we get a mission from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, we can move to the affected area and accomplish the mission at hand,” Carden said.

Carden described the resources ready to rollout.

“We have two engineer battalions, we have military police, we have a huge logistics capability, we have high water vehicles, we have power generation, we have the third largest non-attack aviation fleet of helicopters in the Army National Guard,” Carden told Diamant.

Another 14,000 guardsmen are also part of a massive federal, state and local interagency response and recovery effort.

As the picture of Irma’s path gets clearer by the hour, and a state of emergency expanded to 30 Georgia counties, Carden said the ops center will start staging assets just outside the areas they believe could be hardest hit.

“I feel confident that we’ll be able to respond quickly and efficiently, but depending on the size and the scope, it’s certainly going to be a challenge. We don’t expect it to be easy,” Carden said.

GEMA ready for anything Irma gives them
Channel 2’s Richard Elliot got inside the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and Homeland Security special operations center in southeast Atlanta.

Things were already busy several days from Irma’s predicted landfall in Georgia.

From this operation center, GEMA is able to coordinate the response all across the 30 counties now under a state of emergency. It is the same area hit hard by Hurricane Matthew almost a year ago.

“We’re putting all of the lessons learned that we have learned over the past few months into play on this one,” said Catherine Howden with GEMA Homeland Security.

 

Source: WSB-TV Atlanta 2

Photo: Joy105.com Files

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