//Gov Deal Expands State of Emergency, Adds 16 More Counties

Gov Deal Expands State of Emergency, Adds 16 More Counties

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GEORGIA – Based on the latest forecast for Hurricane Michael and acting on a recommendation from GEMA/HS officials, Governor Nathan Deal declared a State of Emergency in Georgia but has now expanded it to include 16 more counties out of the total 159.

Deal has also activated 1500 National Guard troops.

“We haven’t cried wolf too often, so when we say this is a serious matter, we hope people will listen,” said Deal to the AJC. “We’re not accustomed to the magnitude of a hurricane such as this hitting this part of southwest Georgia.”

This won’t, he added, be a “simple walk away from it with no serious damage” type of storm.

The state’s congressional delegation has also asked President Donald Trump to declare parts of Georgia as a federal disaster area to free up resources. Deal said he’s been contacted by several federal agencies who have promised their assistance.

At a Category 4 designation, Michael will be the strongest storm to ever hit the Florida Panhandle since reliable record-keeping began, according to Channel 2 Action News. It is expected to make landfall Wednesday and keep gnawing away with rains and winds throughout Thursday.

Deal said he’s not prompting a mandatory evacuation because “we trust the judgment of Georgians” to do what’s best for them.