20:00 GMT26 October 2020
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    Following updated news about the projected path of rapidly strengthening Hurricane Dorian, Georgia's governor declared a state of emergency in 12 coastal counties Thursday.

    Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced Thursday that 12 of Georgia's coastal counties, including the city of Savannah, were under a state of emergency.

    ​The measure, delivered as an executive order, frees up state resources for emergency preparations for the storm and prohibits price gouging for goods and services such as food and fuel.

    Just a day prior, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for part of the state, following an updated track for the storm after it passed by Puerto Rico. He extended that declaration Thursday to include all the state's counties, once news broke that Dorian could be a highly dangerous Category 4 hurricane, with winds well over 100 miles per hour.

    Currently lashing the Turks & Caicos, Dorian's course is predicted to go north and then hook westward, passing through the Bahamas and impacting central Florida head-on by the end of the weekend. However, the storm's rain bands will still impact much of Georgia, reaching out hundreds of miles from the hurricane's center. 

    Even by Thursday evening, Savannah will begin to feel impacts of the storm, meteorological blog Category 6 on Weather Underground reported.

    "At 10.0 ft MLLW [above Mean Lower Low Water], major coastal flooding occurs. HW-80 between Savannah and Tybee Island will become impassable, isolating Tybee Island. Around Savannah, flooding could impact 5th Ave, 10th St, 14th St, and the intersection of 6th St and Lewis Ave. Flooding will also occur on Wilmington Island, the Coffee Bluff community, and Burnside Island. Roads also become impassable on Ossabaw Island and Sapelo Island including Landing Rd near Meridian. Also, HW-17 south of Darien could flood and become impassable," the blog noted.

    Category 6 noted Thursday that some computer models have the storm turning northward before landfall.

    "It would not be a shock to see some north-versus-south 'windshield wiper' back-and-forthing on these landfall projections for another day or so, until Dorian undergoes the expected westward bend in its track. Now is an excellent time to keep in mind that the average 5-day track error over the past five years of NHC [National Hurricane Center] forecasts is around 200 miles. With this in mind, the entire Southeast US coast - especially from South Florida to South Carolina - needs to stay abreast of Dorian’s evolution. People along the northern Gulf Coast should also be aware that there is a chance of a Gulf Coast landfall from Dorian next week," the blog noted.


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