Georgia Department of Transportation Preparing for Hurricane Florence
GEORGIA – September 11, 2018 (myajc.com) As Hurricane Florence moves toward landfall on the east coast of the United States, the Georgia Department of Transportation is preparing for a massive increase in traffic, according to an online news report from myajc.com.*
Georgia DOT spokesperson Natalie Dale said the department has increased the number of responding CHAMP operators on Interstate 20, Interstate 95, and Interstate 16 in anticipation of a large amount of people driving through Georgia as they evacuate South Carolina. These CHAMP units render highway aid, clear debris from highways, and assist at accident scenes.
Recent forecasts show Florence making landfall in the Carolinas on Thursday, September 13, or Friday, September 14. Extreme winds and prolonged heavy rain are expected to make many coastal areas of North and South Carolina uninhabitable for several weeks or even months. Meteorologists have been emphasizing the size and strength of Florence, urging everyone in the path to evacuate. This is not a storm people can ride out, forecasters say.
Dale said the Georgia DOT is prepared to take further action if Florence changes course and heads for Georgia. This could include converting I-16 to westbound-only, meaning all lanes of the interstate will move westbound to allow evacuees to move out of the area.
Florence is not the only hurricane to recently affect Georgia. Last year, Hurricane Irma caused evacuations from Florida and the east coast that snarled traffic through Georgia. The massive evacuation led to reverse traffic on I-16 and the Interstate 75 South Metro Express Lanes.
For information about Georgia traffic conditions from the Georgia DOT, drivers can dial 511.
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