ATLANTA (AP) – Georgia’s governor has declared an emergency for the entire state as Hurricane Irma’s approach triggers widespread severe weather threats, including the first-ever tropical storm warning for Atlanta.
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Gov. Nathan Deal’s new emergency declaration came Sunday as Irma churned near Florida. The National Hurricane Center predicted the storm’s center to cross Monday into southwest Georgia, where a hurricane warning was issued for communities including Albany and Valdosta.
Portions of western Alabama and coastal South Carolina were also under tropical storm warnings.
The National Weather Service confirmed it had never before issued a tropical storm warning for Atlanta, where wind gusts could reach 55 mph (88 kph). Meanwhile Savannah and the rest of coastal Georgia were under evacuation orders for the second time since Hurricane Matthew brushed the region last October.