By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Latest on what Hall residents need to know about Hurricane Ian
0928 2022 Storm
This Sept. 26, 2022, satellite image released by NASA shows Hurricane Ian growing stronger as it barreled toward Cuba. Ian was forecast to hit the western tip of Cuba as a major hurricane and then become an even stronger Category 4 with top winds of 140 mph (225 km/h) over warm Gulf of Mexico waters before striking Florida. - photo by Associated Press

Update: Ian’s center was about 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Fort Myers at 2 p.m. Wednesday, as it churned toward toward the coast at 9 mph (15 kph). The storm was expected to spend a day or more crawling across the Florida peninsula, dumping flooding rains of 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 centimeters) across a broad area, including Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville.

Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency Tuesday afternoon, warning Georgians that Hurricane Ian could bring heavy rain, damaging winds and even flash flooding throughout the state near the end of the week. 

Up to 500 National Guard troops could be deployed, according to the executive order

The state of emergency will go into effect at 7 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29, and will expire at midnight on Friday, Oct. 28. 

Ian was expected to strengthen over the warm Gulf of Mexico, reaching top winds of 130 mph as it approaches the southwest coast of Florida, where 2.5 million people were ordered to evacuate, the Associated Press reported.

Tropical storm-force winds were expected across the southern peninsula late Tuesday, reaching hurricane-force Wednesday — when the hurricane's eye was predicted to make landfall. 

Sam Marlow, a meteorologist for the Peachtree City National Weather Service, said Hurricane Ian is projected to decrease in intensity from a tropical storm to a tropical depression by the time it reaches North Georgia late Friday, with 1-2.5 inches of rain and wind gusts up to 40-plus mph. 

“We are anticipating trees down, probably powerlines,” he said. 

“Damaging winds will be possible statewide, even well away from the center of the storm, and downed trees and powerlines are possible statewide on Friday and Saturday,” Kemp’s office said in a statement Tuesday. “Flash flooding, power outages, and other dangerous situations are possible, especially in Southeast Georgia.” 

The Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency “has teams standing by to deploy to affected counties,” Kemp’s office said. 

The governor’s declaration comes as Hall County emergency officials say they are continuing to monitor the storm’s path.  

Zack Brackett of Hall County’s Emergency Management Agency said there is “the possibility of a greater wind threat for our area,” according to a briefing at 12:30 p.m. from the National Weather Service. “We could end up with a long-term wind event with some higher gusts.” 

He said they’re assuming a “state of readiness” by fueling up vehicles and generators. 

“We're making sure that things are in good working order,” he said.