Chatham County officials: 'Leaving is up to you'

    (National Hurricane Center)

    Chatham County emergency officials say residents need to make their own decision on whether they want to evacuate out of the path of Hurricane Florence.

    As of Wednesday morning, CEMA officials say we can expect to start to feel the first impact from Florence sometime between eight o'clock Thursday night and Friday night.

    They say our area is in a moderate risk of seeing tropical storm force winds and a low risk of storm surge and flooding from rainfall.

    The timing and severity of the impact on our area could change depending on the path of Florence as it gets closer.

    CEMA director Dennis Jones advises residents if they feel uncomfortable staying for the storm, they should get out and head deeper into Georgia or into Florida.

    He says the airport is fully operational with no impacts on any flights, but stresses you should check with the airline to see if your plans are affected.

    Officials also say the beaches on Tybee Island are closed to swimming through the end of the weekend because of the rough water conditions.

    Also on Tybee, sandbags for residents are available at City Hall and more are coming on Thursday.

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