Augusta City officials prepare to open shelters for evacuees ahead of Hurricane Irma

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)- The city of Augusta is bracing for thousands of people expected to flee from Hurricane Irma.

City and emergency officials will meet Friday morning to discuss preparations for the opening of several shelters.

Currently Augusta has an agreement with Chatham County to shelter 3,000 evacuees.

The local chapter of the American Red cross is preparing to shelter evacuees at several Richmond County schools, community centers, and churches if needed.

Last year was the first time after city officials opened shelters  during Hurricane Matthew. Augusta Fire Chief Chris James says they were able to learn from that experience to prepare for Irma.

“There are some areas that we know to go ahead and prepare for, We already asked for cots and we’ve already asked for additional law enforcement. We’ve talked to public heath about getting additional nurses in and we talked about having medical teams to go from shelter to shelter to triage and check on citizens while they’re in the shelters.” James says.

James has also made a request to the Georgia Emergency Management agency for 60 additional law enforcement officers to assist in managing the shelters.

Friday’s press conference will provide an update on the city’s Hurricane Irma preparations. The meeting will be held outside of the Augusta Commission chambers, on the second floor of the Municipal Building at 10 am.


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