However, all dormitories will remain open and the Piedmont Central Dining hall will also be available both days from 11 a.m.to 9 p.m. With the memories of flooding and damage from last year's Hurricane Matthew still on the minds of so many, officials had little problem stirring residents to action, especially in coastal areas. Georgia's state of emergency now included 159 counties. North Georgia is now feeling the impacts from the feeder bands of Irma, and damage has already been reported across different parts of the state.
Burns is also warning of possible tornadoes spinning off from the storm.
A similar warning covered parts of SC and most of eastern Alabama, where schools and businesses were closed.
Burns said the wind and rain will taper off by Tuesday morning.
Burns expects winds gusts to be around 45 miles per hour across the metro Monday morning, with winds being much higher south of the metro.
Southeast Alabama could see Irma at its strongest in Alabama.
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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. "Once the storm passes by and it's safe, we'll send crews to assess the damage and determine what needs to be done first". The coast's near 540,000 residents fled last October ahead of Hurricane Matthew, which caused an estimated 500 million U.S. dollars in damage and killed three people.
"Irma should then move inland over northern Florida and southwestern Georgia Monday afternoon", the National Hurricane Center said in its 2 p.m. advisory. No serious injuries were reported.
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.
As of 11 a.m. Monday, there are more than 300,000 customers without power in Georgia and more than 2,900 individual cases of damage (including broken poles and lines) the company is working to fix.
As Hurricane Irma approaches Georgia, Georgia Power is prepared to respond with approximately 3,400 personnel from the company, other Southern Company operating companies and assisting utilities identified and ready to restore power as quickly and safely as possible following the storm.