ATLANTA - Hurricane Irma made landfall as a Category 4 storm in Florida Sunday morning in the Florida Keys, and has since been downgraded to a Category 1 storm.
The storm then made a second landfall on the mainland of Florida in Marco Island at 3:35 p.m.
Severe Weather Team 2's Karen Minton & Brian Monahan are tracking Irma as it tears through Florida and makes its way toward Georgia. They'll have the latest on the storm's track on Channel 2 Action News
A Tropical Storm Watch has upgraded to a Tropical Storm Warning Sunday morning, ahead of the storm moving inland.
JUST IN: TROPICAL STORM WATCH UPGRADED TO *WARNING ACROSS METRO -- GUSTS TO 60 MPH LIKELY MONDAY-TUESDAY AM pic.twitter.com/oOHFu7RgO9— Katie Walls (@KatieWallsWSB) September 10, 2017
Meteorologist Katie Walls said that the time for Georgia to be most weather-aware is from Monday morning until Tuesday morning.
Storm threats for Georgia include wind gusts up to 60 mph. Heavy rain began early Monday morning, and down trees and power outages are all possible throughout the day and into Tuesday.
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As we head into Tuesday afternoon, the storm will continue to weaken to a tropical depression as it moves out of Georgia altogether.
Georgia braces for Irma's impact
Saturday morning drivers saw a contraflow of traffic on Interstate 16 to help with now-mandatory evacuations.
Gov. Nathan Deal is urging Georgians to have a healthy fear of Hurricane Irma.
On Sunday, Deal expanded a State of Emergency to include all of Georgia.
Here's a screenshot of Gov. Deal's emergency declaration expansion to include every county in Georgia. pic.twitter.com/kC886GmQxm— Richard Elliot (@RElliotWSB) September 10, 2017
"The state of emergency now includes all 159 counties in Georgia," Deal said in a statement. "State government will be closed Monday and Tuesday for all employees except essential personnel."
“Just because the weather appears to be calm now, don't take that for granted," Deal said during a Friday news conference.
Cobb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Coweta, and several other school districts are closed Monday ahead of Hurricane Irma. Atlanta Public Schools is also closed Monday, due to inclement weather.
Floridian Taylor Buck wasn't taking anything for granted and thought he was taking the proper steps to keep his family safe but told Channel 2’s Carl Willis that changed Thursday night when he said the Holiday Inn Northlake canceled his reservation.
"It's not a good feeling because all week we felt like we had a plan. We were ready to go. And that just blew up," Buck said.
He told Willis that a hotel manager told him his five rooms were sold out from under him to a national bank that needed 75 rooms for its employees.
A manager denied that when Willis asked questions, but then she put Willis on hold and never returned to the phone to explain.
Buck couldn't find another room and said his family was left to face the risk in Florida.
"I hope that we're going to be safe. I hope there aren't any other families affected by this," Buck said.
Workers in FEMA's regional coordination center in DeKalb County are working to minimize the impact.
They told Channel 2 Action News at last count there were 7,500 federal personnel deployed, with more on the way.
They said there were 10 urban search and rescue teams strategically positioned in Florida and Georgia.
FEMA said they had nearly 10 million liters of water, more than 5 million meals, 13,000 cots and 41,000 blankets ready to be deployed where needed.
"It's organized chaos. We've been doing this for a few days, and we've done it before," Brandon Bolinski with FEMA said.
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