Evacuees urged to consider using state routes in addition to interstates for evacuation
ATLANTA, GA – The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a tropical storm warning for several counties in southwest Georgia and a watch in other areas ahead of hurricane Michael. Earlier today, Governor Nathan Deal issued a state of emergency declaration for 92 counties located in the south and coastal areas of Georgia to provide for emergency assistance in anticipation of Hurricane Michael and its effects on the counties in its path.
Georgia DOT is preparing on a statewide level in partnership with the Governor’s Office, Georgia Emergency Management Agency, the National Weather Service and state and local officials. The traveling public’s safety is a top priority as Georgia DOT readies for tropical storm weather conditions. Maintaining the roads and bridges are essential before, during and after the storm.
Statewide, Georgia DOT crews are prepared to activate and deploy as needed.
- GDOT’s Transportation Management Center (TMC) is currently monitoring traffic conditions statewide.
- Crews are at the ready to respond to storm impacts in southern and coastal Georgia.
- GDOT crews in the northern and middle parts of the state are prepping today to mobilize for deployment early tomorrow morning. Crews will deploy from GDOT Districts 1, 2, 3 and 6 to southern and coastal Georgia to assist local crews.
- GDOT has enacted more heavily concentrated CHAMP patrols on I-75 near the Georgia/Florida border.
- Motorists traveling on interstates and state routes should be wary of the possibility of falling trees due to high winds. GDOT is actively engaged in the removal of trees and overgrown brush along state rights-of-way in an effort to mitigate the possibility of falling trees across roadways, a particular danger during hurricanes and tropical storms.
- Motorists should strongly consider using alternate routes besides interstate highways. Often during evacuations, interstates are heavily congested while state routes go largely unused. State routes are a viable alternative to interstates. Consult 511, state maps and wayfinding apps to determine the best, least congested route to ensure your safe evacuation. Evacuation route map
- Those evacuating from Florida and south Georgia should consider heading west out of the storm’s path. Heading north into Georgia is not the only option.
- Due to storm evacuation, the decision to suspend all construction work that negatively affects travel on the Interstates and all evacuation routes within the Districts listed below was made. The suspension on all construction work will remain in place until 7 p.m. Friday.
- GDOT District 4 (southwest Georgia) has suspended all construction work.
- GDOT District 5 (southeast Georgia) will cease all construction work on I-95 and I-16, effective immediately.
“We urge motorists to pay attention to warnings and advisories to stay off the roads due to the potential for tornadoes, extreme high winds, flash flooding and downed trees,” said GDOT’s Director of Emergency Operations Bryan Haines.
Georgia DOT’s maintenance staff and bridge inspectors will be available to regularly patrol the interstates, state roadways and bridges to assist in identifying potential hazards or negative impacts to travel. In the event that flooding occurs, crews will have to wait until water recedes to assess the situation. If motorists see flash flooding, trees down or other obstructions on roadways or bridges impeding travel, they are urged to contact 511 and speak with an operator to report the incidents.
Motorists are reminded of the hazards of being on the roads during inclement weather that potentially includes high winds, flash flooding, the possibility of downed trees and possible road and bridge closures. If significant flooding occurs, the public is advised not to drive around barricades that are in place for motorist’s safety and to treat non-operational signals as a four-way stop. Additionally, the public should monitor local radio and TV stations for the latest details on weather conditions and possible evacuations.
For real-time road conditions, call 511 or visit Georgia511. For weather information, visit the National Weather Service in Tallahassee, Florida, or the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, Georgia.