Gwinnett County Public Schools to close Tuesday due to Tropical Storm Irma

Irma MGN

Strongest winds after 2 pm today; evacuees fill Decatur hotels

After hearing about Atlanta's tropical storm warning Sunday, Ramirez rushed to grocery stores only to find that three locations didn't have any water.

"The most recent forecast suggests that part of the state will see tropical storm conditions", Ivey said.

Amy Phuong, parks and recreation commissioner for the city, says six crews were already handling calls for felled trees around the city on Monday afternoon, as winds and rain began to intensify. The state of emergency now includes all 159 counties in Georgia. It could remain a unsafe storm throughout that time.

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Earlier, Hurricane Irma was downgraded to a Category 2 storm. Many Downtown universities, such as Georgia State, University of Georgia and Georgia Tech have all closed their doors for today and cancelled classes.

Further inland in Lowndes County near the Georgia-Florida line, firefighters rescued occupants of a few homes struck by falling trees, said county spokeswoman Paige Dukes.

Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority suspended all bus and rail services on Monday and would decide later whether to resume operations on Tuesday, spokesman Erik Burton said.

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Burns said starting early Monday evening, the outer bands of the storms will move into the area over the lake country, and those are the areas in which he is most concerned about tornadoes forming. 45-60mph sustained winds expected with gusts up to 80mph. 3-5 inches of rainfall expected Monday. Officials will continue to coordinate with state and local officials along with emergency personnel to determine the transit system's schedule for Tuesday, spokesman Erik Burton said.

WIND: Columbus and surrounding areas will experience 20-30 miles per hour wind with gusts up to 40 miles per hour Sunday. He urged residents to store trash cans and outside furniture and equipment in their homes. "We urge everyone to stay indoors and stay safe". As of the 5pm update Irma continues as a Tropical Storm as it moves to the NNW at 17mph.

Fliers should expect delays or cancellations if heading to or from the Florida or Atlanta area.

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