Tybee Island, just east of Savannah, Georgia, could face a direct hit from Hurricane Irma in the coming days. The powerful Category 5 storm is expected to make landfall again in Florida and head up the East Coast.
Evacuations have not yet been ordered for the island, but residents have been urged to prepare for the hurricane now.
Tybee Mayor Jason Buelterman issued an update on the storm on Thursday morning saying he believes that evacuations orders are “imminent.”
“It is my expectation that county-wide evacuation orders are imminent which would mean that there would be no need for Tybee to act independent of Chatham County,” he said. “If and when these orders are made, we will communicate the information directly to our citizens and stakeholders using all of our communication tools.”
Buelterman said sand bags are in short supply on the island. “We have ordered more sand bags but this will be the last order as our supplier has run out. These will arrive at Memorial Park [Thursday] morning,” he said.
Located in Chatham County, the island is the easternmost point in the state of Georgia. Governor Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency in several coastal counties, including Chatham county.
Hurricane Irma plowed through the Leeward Islands and the Caribbean this week and is now heading for the Turks and Caicos, according to the National Hurricane Center. The hurricane has maximum sustained winds of 175 miles per hour.