Laurens County welcoming Hurricane Ian evacuees

As Hurricane Ian continues to move north, Florida residents and those who live on the Georgia coast are continuing to evacuate.
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Laurens County seeing influx of people trying to get away from Hurricane Ian
Hurricane Ian

DUBLIN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — As Hurricane Ian continues to move north, Florida residents and those who live on the Georgia coast are continuing to evacuate.

One of those travelers is Julie Guerry.

“I got up this morning, packed my dogs up, left Sea Island, Georgia, and I’m headed  to Chattanooga, Tennessee,” she said.

Guerry says its better to be safe than sorry.  “It was getting windy,” she said. “We don’t know where the hurricane was going to hit.”

She’s just one of many travelers we spotted stopping for gas. Others were looking for a temporary home away from home.

“We’re just here keeping an eye out on availability in Dublin of hotel rooms,” Visit Dublin Executive Director Miriam Lewis said. “Even RV spots, just so that we can be ready to answer those questions when people come in.”

Lewis says the influx of people is beginning to pick up. With many unsure of where to go, Lewis says the community is welcoming them with open arms.

“We have our maps readily available,” she said. “We already know some alternate routes for people to take so they can get off the main interstate, stuff like that.”

The Laurens County Emergency Management Agency says its expecting strong winds.

Through several briefings with the National Weather Service, EMA Director Bill Laird is hopeful there won’t be any damage in the county. He also says they’re making extra efforts so everyone is prepared.

“We’re communicating among partners, sharing information, making sure that resources are ready to go in an event that we do have some issues or the storm should take a turn,” he said.

The Laurens County School District and Dublin City Schools say they will remain open, but if Ian shifts, shelters for families could open.

Georgia Department of Transportation no contraflow lanes are open right now if you are traveling west on I-16, but changes could be made if Ian changes direction.

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