Gov. Kemp orders mandatory evacuations of Georgia coast Monday

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has ordered mandatory evacuations to begin along the Georgia coast at 12 p.m. Monday. 

The mandatory evacuation is in effect for six coastal counties (Glynn, Chatham, Liberty, McIntosh, Bryan, and Camden) east of I-95 starting at noon.

On Monday, Kemp strongly urged residents along the coast to heed evacuation orders.

"This storm remains a critical threat to Georgia," Kemp said. "This storm is still moving. It's massive. I would not take any chances ... It's not worth the risk of riding it out."

Officials will also start contraflow of traffic on I-16 starting at 8 a.m. Tuesday. All lanes will be turned westbound from Savannah to U.S. 411 in Dublin.

The news comes shortly after South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster ordered a mandatory evacuation of all coastal counties there. The governors of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina are all coordinating evacuation orders.

Georgia, South and North Carolina have all declared states of emergency ahead of the storms.

Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Katie Walls said it is too early to be certain of Dorian's exact track but no matter how close the powerful storm comes to the southeast coast, Georgia will still feel the impacts.

Walls said the main concerns in Georgia will be storms surge, heavy rain, coastal erosion and flooding.


Several colleges on the Georgia coast are closing ahead of Hurricane Dorian.

The College of Coastal Georgia announced it will cancel classes and suspend non-essential operations in Brunswick and Camden through Wednesday.

[RELATED: Hurricane Dorian slams Bahamas as Cat. 5 storm with 185 mph winds ]

Savannah State University said the school will close student housing Monday at 6 p.m. and classes will be canceled Tuesday.

Savannah College of Art and Design has postponed starting classes until Sept. 11.

Glynn County schools will be closed through Thursday. Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools will be closed through Wednesday.