Northeast Georgia could experience severe storms and high winds this weekend when Hurricane Florence hits the East Coast.
Though Hall County residents are urged to take precautions, the area will likely not have to evacuate, according to officials.
Eastern Georgia likely will receive 2 to 4 inches of rain and the Upper Chattahoochee River Basin near Lake Lanier could experience flooding, according to Laura Belanger of the National Weather Service office in Peachtree City.
Winds in eastern Georgia could pick up by late Thursday and reach 39 miles per hour or more. Current forecasts predict tropical storm winds arriving later, likely on Saturday afternoon, Belanger said. She said there is still uncertainty about the path of the hurricane and forecasts will be adjusted.
Casey Ramsey, Hall County’s interim emergency management director, encouraged residents to sign up for the county’s emergency alerts.
Gov. Nathan Deal issued a state of emergency for all 159 Georgia counties on Wednesday. Deal said in a statement that the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency is leading efforts to provide public shelter and accommodate evacuees.
In Hall County, Ramsey said First Baptist Church of Gainesville usually serves as emergency shelter, but officials are not yet expecting to need that space.
At a weather briefing Wednesday afternoon, representatives from Jackson EMC and Georgia Power said they would have extra crews on hand during the storms.
Ramsey said people in Hall should ensure they have essentials like food on hand before the storm hits, and that residents should expect some power outages.
Anyone using a generator during a power outage should be careful and use it properly. Carbon monoxide emergency calls often increase when the power goes out and people run generators inside their homes, allowing carbon monoxide builds up, Ramsey said.
Ramsey said Hall residents should not have to evacuate their homes, but high-speed winds could bring down trees in the area.
This story will be updated.