New evacuation maps in place for coastal Southeast Georgia

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – This hurricane season, new evacuation maps are in place for parts of Southeast Georgia.

Evacuation maps are updated periodically to better reflect areas that have been reassigned as a flood plain and new computer models that better simulate storm surge.

This year, Camden and Glynn counties in Southeast Georgia modified their maps.

“So the last evacuation study done was roughly 2013 for the coastal Georgia area,” Chuck White, Camden County Emergency Management Director said. “So you can imagine a lot has changed since 2013.

“The new surge slash models are all much better, more predictive. And we’ve learned a lot based on experience.”

In the new maps in Camden County, coastal islands are in Zone A and other areas east of I-95 are in Zone B, like St. Marys.

Camden Co. Evacuation Map (Courtesy: Camden Co. EM)

A special Zone C was created for important infrastructure right along Interstate 95.

Over in Glynn County, the island areas remain in Zone A, and other areas, including all of Brunswick, are in Zone B.

Glynn Co. Evacuation Map (Courtesy: Glynn Co. EM)

“We have causeways that go to the islands and there’s a certain point where the causeways have to be shut down because there’s so much water on them,” Sharon Courson, Glynn County Deputy Emergency Management Director said. “And if we have a high tide, really high tide in conjunction with this timing with the storm coming in, it’s always a problem.”

Both counties stressed the importance of knowing exactly what zone you live in as we start hurricane season.

“We don’t want to scare anyone, but we also recognize that living in this beautiful coastal environment comes with some inherent risk from mother nature,” White said. “We just want everyone to pay attention, be aware and be prepared.”

About the Author:

David Heckard is The Weather Authority's Assistant Chief Meteorologist.