For immediate release                                                                                 Office of Communications

Sept. 12, 2017                                                                                                  (404) 651-7774


Deal lifts mandatory evacuation order for six coastal counties

Following state bridge inspections, local officials now able to determine reentry


Acting on a recommendation from the Emergency Operations Command and the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), Gov. Nathan Deal today lifted the mandatory evacuation order for six coastal counties. Beginning Monday evening through today, GDOT assessment teams deployed in the area completed safety inspections of 49 impacted state bridges. Following the safety determination of each bridge, the state lifted the mandatory evacuation order. This executive order allows local authorities to determine when citizens may return home and issue appropriate guidance.


To read the executive order, see attached or click here.


For more information on hurricane preparedness, visit the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency website here.


Beaufort:  The Beaufort County Sheriff says roadblocks on US278 are down allowing for re-entry to HHI and Daufuskie.  Curfew for Barrier Islands is over and will not be extended. Welcome back Beaufort County residents and guests.

Liberty:   The Liberty County Board of Commissioners has lifted the mandatory evacuation order and the curfew that was put in place last night effective this morning at 8:00 AM.  All residents will now be allowed to return to Liberty County.

Please be aware the many areas of the County are still without power and debris is on many of the roadways.  Residents are urged to use caution when returning home. 

Please visit, or call (912) 368-2201 for more information.

Chatham:  In coordination with Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, CEMA and the local joint command policy group announce the lifting of the evacuation order for all of Chatham County, with the exception of Tybee Island. 


Tybee is inaccessible. Assessment of Hwy 80 needs to be completed and your patience is appreciated.  State and local partners need your assistance in ensuring equipment and personnel can access all portions of Hwy 80 in an effort to expedite the re-opening.


Many roads are still closed throughout the county. Citizens planning their return home should review the Chatham County road closures webpage and plan accordingly.  Further, GDOT will inspect the Talmadge Bridge and the Bull River Bridge. Numerous traffic signals are not working, so please treat each intersection that is not properly working as a four-way stop.


For specific travel information regarding Georgia interstate and state roads, please call 511.


Starting today, those who evacuated through EAA transport will begin returning to Chatham County. Chatham Area Transit (CAT) will assist with re-entry efforts and will not offer regular service today. CAT will utilize their normal routes to get people home. Upon assessment of their property, if it is determined that their residence is inhabitable, individuals will utilize CAT to return to the Civic Center and will be transported to an emergency shelter. Regular routes and paratransit service will resume on Wednesday, September 13, 2017.


Pets that were evacuated will be returned on Wednesday. Owners should contact Chatham County Animal Services at 912-652-6575 to arrange for pick-up.   The Chatham County Animal Services is located at 7211 Sallie Mood Drive. 


Candler Hospital will reopen on Wednesday, September 13, 2017. St. Joseph’s and Memorial Hospital emergency rooms are open.


Chatham County Sheriff’s Department and Detention Center will be in full operation as of Wednesday.  Residents are encouraged to contact their local municipality for hours of operation and services. 

The EOC call center will continue to answer questions throughout the day, so citizens should utilize this service and refrain from calling 911 for non-emergency concerns.


Savannah Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) is expected to reopen for students on Monday September 18, 2017.  Assessments of facilities, food and support services are being conducted.  Staff will be contacted by their supervisor.


Local colleges and universities are assessing their facilities; as of now the following will be closed through Wednesday, September 13, 2017:

·       Savannah State University

·       Armstrong State University

·       Georgia Southern University

·       Savannah Technical College


For individuals in need of assistance, they are encouraged to call 800-451-1954.