"We are prepared" for Hurricane Irma — Georgia Power

Irma will be near the Central Bahamas by Friday, then its track shows a path toward Florida, where warm ocean water is expected to keep it at a Category 4 or 5 storm.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMasters says he "intends" to issue an evacuation order for 10 a.m. on Saturday. That information is time specific, and it could always change.

As of the 10:30 p.m. on September 6, though, there were no mandatory evacuations in SC. By far, the largest was vacation paradise Hilton Head Island, with 40,000 people, golf courses and resorts.

Hurricane Irma in a NASA satellite image as it passed over the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico on September 6.

"We are checking all the drains, the culverts, checking our primary sewer lines and make sure they are open, functioning and clean so if we get inundated with lots of rain and wind, so we are in the best possible position", said David Foster, Waynesville Public Services Director.

"We'll still be within the boundaries of time to make proper preparation efforts", Shuping said, noting the storm details will determine what resources will be activated and when.

That leaves the possibility the storm could hit Georgia as well as South and North Carolina by early next week. It's moving west-northwest at 14 miles per hour.

"When that sun came out this morning and the damage was minimal, it became a good day", said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. He said Floridians need to follow any evacuation orders.

Nathan Deal had declared a state of emergency for 94 of Georgia's 159 counties. "We're saying with some certainty that there will be impact, but the magnitude is what's in question".

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"Honestly, I can't tell you where safe is", Jones told reporters at a news conference.

If this forecast track holds up, the South Carolina Midlands could wind up seeing the equivalent of a direct impact from a category two hurricane.

The governor soon turned to Bryson, an even-keeled former parks official who has served more than three decades in state government and prefers to stay out of the spotlight. "But we are not yet in the clear and we can't let our guard down".

On Tybee Island east of Savannah, Ernie Laessig wasn't taking any chances with Irma. But they fear Irma could prove more unsafe.

"We didn't hit the eye, and I had nothing left", Roberts said.

"For our area, the track is slightly southwest from previous forecasts, and the overall wind and flooding threat has lessened, with the main threat over the North Carolina mountains and foothills", Loftis said Sunday.

"Now we're looking at hurricane-force winds in excess of 79 miles per hour", Dukes said.

Authorities sent an aircraft carrier and other Navy ships to help with search-and-rescue operations in Florida on Monday as a flyover of the hurricane-battered Keys yielded what the governor said were scenes of devastation.

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