Mayor Eddie DeLoach stood with emergency planners at a news conference in the City’s Emergency Coordination Center today to address the public about Hurricane Matthew. Below is the text of his remarks:
Hurricane Matthew is a dangerous, deadly storm getting ready to steamroll up the southeast coast, and Chatham County currently sits directly in its path.
While this path could change, the people of Savannah cannot wait and hope for the best. We must expect the worst, and take immediate action.
As you just heard, your City is positioning itself to protect Savannah. Now you must work to protect yourself and your family.
The Governor just informed me of plans to issue a Mandatory evacuation for everyone east of Interstate 95. Now is the time to begin moving. Bring what you need – medications, bedding, pets. Check on your family and loved ones, and offer them help. The Georgia National Guard and Georgia State Patrol will be positioned along the highway to assist those evacuating.
We have opened inland shelters. They are listed on the City’s website at savannahga.gov, and on Savannah Government Television, Comcast Channel 8.
These shelters will not be comfortable. They are shelters of last resort, for those who have no other alternative. If you can, find your own place inland to ride out the storm. Make room in your own house for friends and loves ones.
If you need to use public shelters, and cannot get there on your own, make your way to the Savannah Civic Center. Buses will be available to take you to one of the shelters.
If you can’t make it to the Civic Center, make your way to the nearest Chatham Area Transit Bus Stop. Starting at noon, they will take residents to the Civic Center.
Hurricane Matthew is a storm not to be messed with. If you decide to ride it out, do not expect us to be there to help you. We will not risk the lives of our emergency responders to save those who refused to heed this evacuation call.
Thank you for your cooperation, and God bless Savannah.