Acting on a recommendation from the state’s Emergency Operations Command Gov. Nathan Deal expanded the emergency declaration to include all 159 counties in Georgia. The Governor has also ordered state government closed on Monday and Tuesday for all employees except personnel who will be working the storm.
“With heavy rainfall, flash flooding and high winds, we expect downed trees and power lines that will directly impact travel on our roadways throughout the entire state. It is important for residents to continue to stay in a safe location and not be on the roadway during the storm,” said Georgia DOT’s State Traffic Operations Engineer Andrew Heath.
Once it is safe to re-enter areas impacted by Irma, nearly 800 Georgia DOT employees are on standby to begin clearing debris from the roadway, inspect bridges for safe reopening, restore downed or broken traffic signals and ensure the safety of the travelling public.
“The safety of all Georgia residents and Georgia DOT employees is paramount. We cannot allow our employees to enter and work in unsafe areas,” added Georgia DOT Commissioner Russell McMurry. “We ask for the public’s patience in allowing our crews the time to safely clear roadways and inspect bridges.”
Priority will be given to clearing the interstates and heavily traveled state routes and arterials so that emergency personnel and power crews can take care of resident’s basic needs. In addition, more than 40 bridge inspectors will be inspecting bridges once the water goes down and they are able to inspect hundreds of bridges throughout the state.
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