- Associated Press - Thursday, September 1, 2016

ATLANTA (AP) - The Latest on the state of Georgia taking precautions ahead of Tropical Storm Hermine. (all times local):


8:30 p.m.

A handful of residents are spending the night at a Red Cross shelter in Valdosta as south Georgia braces for Hurricane Hermine after it makes landfall in Florida.

Red Cross volunteer Chris Staples said 12 people showed up at the city auditorium being used as a shelter soon after it opened Thursday night.

Cynthia Arnold came with her brother and her 5-year-old grandson, saying she felt unsafe riding out the storm in their mobile home. Her husband and a teenage nephew stayed behind.

Arnold said, “I’m not going to just sit there and be ignorant.”

Mildred Harris lives in a stick-built home near the auditorium. She came to the shelter because she didn’t want to be alone. She said, “I’m trying to be safe and I don’t like taking chances.”


8 p.m.

Thursday night flights from Atlanta’s airport - the world’s busiest - bound for Tallahassee, Florida, have been postponed until Friday.

Departure information from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport showed that an 8:40 p.m. Thursday Delta Air Lines flight to Tallahassee’s airport is now delayed until 5 a.m. Friday.

A Virgin Atlantic flight from Atlanta to Tallahassee scheduled for 10:32 p.m. Thursday is now scheduled to depart Atlanta at 8 a.m. Friday.


7 p.m.

South Georgia residents are stocking up on supplies to ride out Hurricane Hermine, which some fear could leave them without electricity for days.

Larry and Holly Murkerson stopped at a Wal-Mart in Valdosta under darkening skies Thursday evening to buy bread, lunch meat and 105 bottles of water. The couple lives in rural Cairo, where the well they rely on for water doesn’t work without power.

Kaye White of Valdosta bought plenty of water too, along with canned beans and sausages and a 50-pound bag of dog food for her German shepherd. White says, “I’m not worried at all. We just figured we’d rather be safe than sorry.”

Hermine was forecast to cross into southern Georgia on Friday morning after making landfall in Florida.


5:45 p.m.

Officials in one south Georgia city bracing for Hurricane Hermine are urging residents who live in mobile homes to go to a shelter.

Emergency officials in Lowndes County said a city auditorium in Valdosta will open as a shelter Thursday evening. While most residents are being urged to hunker down at home, county spokeswoman Paige Dukes said the storm’s powerful winds might be too much for mobile homes to withstand.

Located about 15 miles north of the Georgia-Florida state line, Valdosta is expected to be one of the first Georgia communities in Hermine’s path early Friday after the storm lands in Florida.

County workers spent Thursday clearing storm drains and roadside ditches to help alleviate flooding. Forecasters say the Valdosta area could get 7 to 9 inches of rain.


5 p.m.

Two more campuses in Georgia have are closing due to inclement weather and as a precaution ahead of Tropical Storm Hermine.

Albany State University and Darton State College closed their campuses Thursday. The closing also includes satellite locations in Cairo and Cordele.

The two colleges join Valdosta State and Georgia Southern, which both canceled all scheduled classes for Friday.

Campuses at Albany and Darton will reopen Sept. 6.


4:30 p.m.

Georgia Southern University has closed the school’s campus and coastal center as a precaution before Tropical Storm Hermine.

A statement was released on the school’s website Thursday. All classes scheduled for Friday are canceled and the only essential personnel should report to campus in Statesboro.

Georgia Southern is the second college to cancel classes ahead of the storm heading toward Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Valdosta State University in south Georgia canceled classes from Thursday at 5:30 p.m. through Friday at 5 p.m. Dorms and dining halls will remain open.

School officials at Georgia Southern are encouraging students and university personnel to travel no later than Thursday if they have weekend plans outside the area. For people, who are staying in town, they are asked to stay indoors and off the roadways.


3:45 p.m.

Two Georgia ports will close its operations ahead of Tropical Storm Hermine.

The Georgia Ports Authority said Thursday both facilities in Savannah and Brunswick will be shut down until Friday. The closed facilities include Garden City Terminal and Ocean Terminal in Savannah, and the Colonel’s Island Bulk Facility and Mayor’s Point Terminal in Brunswick.

Normal operations will resume at the Garden City Terminal from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Gate 4 only.

GPA executive director Griff Lynch says an “abundance of caution” has been taken for the safety of port employees and local residents.

Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency for 56 counties as Hermine heads toward Florida’s Gulf Coast.

A tropical storm warning has been issued for Glynn County. Residents and visitors are advised to take shelter as the storm passes.


12:58 p.m.

Georgia’s governor has declared a state of emergency for 56 counties as Tropical Storm Hermine heads toward Florida’s Gulf Coast.

The alert takes effect at noon on Thursday and runs through midnight on Saturday. Gov. Nathan Deal says severe weather related to the storm is expected in Georgia through Saturday. The included counties are in parts of south, central and coastal Georgia.

The Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency said Wednesday that the storm’s greatest effect on Georgia could be heavy rainfall.

Director Jim Butterworth said the storm could bring flooding, tornadoes and power outages even if it does not make landfall in Georgia.

Valdosta State University in south Georgia canceled classes starting Thursday at 5:30 p.m. through Friday at 5 p.m. Dorms and dining halls will remain open.



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