ATLANTA - More than 500,000 people across six coastal Georgia counties have been ordered to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Dorian.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant was alongside Gov. Brian Kemp on Monday as he flew along the coast, finalizing plans with emergency officials as they prepare for the storm.
Diamant got exclusive access to the prep work being done right now to keep Georgian's safe from Dorian.
"I think that's really our challenge. It's so slow moving that people just think they have more time ... We just don't need the rural folks sleeping," Kemp said.
In Savannah, Diamant went along during a status and strategy briefing that Kemp, Georgia Emergency Management Director Homer Bryson and Insurance Commissioner John King held with local leaders.
"This storm remains a critical threat to Georgia."@GovKemp addressing local media in Savannah on the possible impact of #HurricaneDorain. The resources and strategies in place to support evacuation and public safety operations. @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/ZF7jYfp6y0— Aaron Diamant (@AaronDiamantWSB) September 2, 2019
There was a lot of talk about wind, heavy rain and widespread flooding.
"What worries us, especially about the Barrier Islands, is people getting cut off from assistance," Kemp said.
The governor's next stop was at the Port of Savannah, which has been closed until at least Friday.
Execs from the port got the governor up to speed on the race to protect the critical economic engine.
"We're securing that cargo to the extent we can and all of the equipment that is worth $1 billion," Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch said.
The massive ship-to-shore cranes have already been tied down at the port as workers scramble to secure tens of thousands of containers.
"Because if they're not and we get strong winds, they'll get blown around like toothpicks," Lynch said.
From there, the governor headed to Brunswick for a briefing with leaders in Glynn County, one of the six counties under a mandatory evacuation order.
GEMA's boss urged the public to follow that order.
"You can only do so much. People have to take personal responsibility," Bryson told emergency staff.
While the slow-moving storm may mean more time to get ready, Kemp said there's still a lot of uncertainty.
"I think Hurricane Dorian is keeping me up right now and what path it comes on, we just don't know," Kemp told Diamant.
A big part of the emergency plan is about keeping roads clear, not just for those evacuating from the Georgia coast, but those from Florida and South Carolina seeking safety in our state.
Kemp had a message for the people in metro Atlanta: If you have family or friends under that evacuation order, reach out them and open up your homes.
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