More than a hundred thousand residents are without electricity in coastal Georgia early Saturday as the eye of Hurricane Matthew moved northward just off the coast of Georgia with gusty winds and heavy rain.
Georgia Power spokesman John Kraft said he expects outages will climb even more in the storm-struck counties of Chatham, Glynn, Camden and McIntosh.
He said utility company crews are expected to head toward the storm-inflicted areas Saturday after the weather clears.
The Glynn County Emergency Operations Center urged any residents remaining in Glynn County to “shelter-in-place” for the remainder of the storm as emergency Services have ceased until conditions improve.
Record-setting storm surge has been reported in the Jacksonville area and similar conditions are expected along the Glynn County coastline and barrier islands.
Glynn County, City of Brunswick and Jekyll Island Authority officials urged residents not to return to the area until reentry has been authorized by local officials. Time is needed after the storm has passed to assess storm damage and confirm that roadways and bridges are safe to travel.
Residents are encouraged to visit glynncounty.org for more information.
All of Glynn County is under a mandatory evacuation order, as of 12:30 p.m Thursday.
The Georgia Department of Transportation closed the Sidney Lanier Bride on State Road 25 in Brunswick at 10 a.m. Friday because of anticipated gale-force winds.
The Glynn County Board of Commissioners and the City of Brunswick have issued a curfew beginning at midnight Thursday, lasting until 5 a.m. Friday. This curfew will be in place Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday night, ending Monday morning at 5 a.m.
During a curfew, it is prohibited for any person to appear in public in the territory subject to the curfew, including but not limited to, streets, highways, alleys, sidewalks, vacant lots, parks, public buildings or any other public places in unincorporated Glynn County, excluding Jekyll Island, during the stated hours of the curfew.
Southeast Georgia Health System in Brunswick has evacuated all hospital patients and closed the emergency room at 7 a.m. Friday.
Management and staff successfully evacuated approximately 180 inpatients, and have treated and released all emergency room patients as appropriate. Patients’ family members and/or emergency contacts have been notified as transfer arrangements were made with receiving facilities in Georgia and Florida.
Red Cross opened two shelters for Glynn County residents at 1 p.m. in Waycross: Trinity United Methodist Church at 1005 Church Street and Waycross Middle School at 700 Central Avenue.
The county's Board of Commissioners has issued a State of Emergency for Glynn County, following Gov. Nathan Deal’s declaration of a State of Emergency for Georgia. County offices and courts were closed on Friday.
All government buildings, City of Brunswick and Glynn County, will close at noon on Thursday. Republic Services ceased regularly scheduled trash pickup on Friday and Saturday. Trash pickup is scheduled to resume on Monday.
The Camden County Board of Commissioners has issued a state of emergency due to Hurricane Matthew and called for a mandatory evacuation of the entire county, effective immediately.
Officials announced Friday that a curfew is in effect from 10 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday.
County offices and courts are closed until further notice. All of Camden and Glynn counties are under an evacuation order, as is part of Brantley County as Hurricane Matthews approaches.
Cumberland Island National Seashore closed to visitors and sent staff home as of Tuesday morning. The tentative plan is to reopen Monday morning.
The St. Marys Community Based Outpatient Clinic VA facility was be closed Thursday and Friday.
A mandatory evacuation order is in effect east of U.S. 301 and a voluntary order west of U.S. 301.