Governor declares state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Matthew

ATLANTA — In preparation for Hurricane Matthew, Gov. Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency in 13 coastal counties.

The state of emergency includes Brantley, Bryan, Bulloch, Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Effingham, Evans, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh and Wayne counties.

READ: Hurricane Matthew to have devastating impact on Haiti

The National Hurricane Center said the Category 4 storm made landfall around 7 a.m. EDT Tuesday near Les
Anglais, Haiti. Matthew's maximum sustained winds are near 145 mph (230kph).


Channel 2's Lori Geary learned that the Georgia Emergency Operations Center is now open.

The center allows state agencies to communicate with local governments and assess needs.

Deal said the emergency declaration will begin Wednesday and last for seven days, but that also depends on Matthew's path. Matthew caused massive devastation when it hit Haiti.

Deal said there are no evacuation orders for Georgia, but officials will keep a close eye to see where Hurricane Matthew is headed. He told residents not to panic but to be prepared.

Download the Severe Weather Team 2 app for your smartphone. You can track Hurricane Matthew and get the newest coordinates and wind speed on the tropics tab.

Some airlines are letting passengers change travel plans without penalty if their trip might be affected by Hurricane Matthew.

United Airlines said Tuesday that it will waive change fees and any difference in fare for customers scheduled to fly Wednesday through Friday to, from or through five airports in Florida.

Delta Air Lines is waiving change fees on trips through Wednesday in the Caribbean and through Thursday at eight Florida destinations, although differences in the fare would still apply.

American Airlines says it will waive change fees on trips scheduled through Thursday in several Caribbean nations including Cuba.

The fee to change a nonrefundable ticket on United, American and Delta is typically $200 for domestic flights and usually more for international trips.

Regarding Hurricane Matthew and the Georgia-South Carolina game

Georgia, South Carolina and the SEC office had yet to have discussions about contingency plans for the game, according to athletics director Greg McGarity.

South Carolina released a statement on Saturday reiterating that kickoff for the game is still “slated for 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia.”

"The University of South Carolina and the athletics department are currently monitoring the movements of Hurricane Matthew" the school's statement said. "We are in communication with the National Weather Service, local authorities and the SEC regarding potential weather issues. The safety of everyone that could be impacted by this storm is paramount. Once forecasts call for action, we will use all means necessary to inform the public."