Gov. Nathan Deal issued a mandatory evacuation order Thursday for all areas east of I-95 and other parts of the state’s coast as Hurricane Irma barrels toward Florida and Georgia with potentially catastrophic force. The governor’s executive order also authorized up to 5,000 Georgia National Guard

members to be on active duty to respond to the deadly storm. And he expanded a state of emergency to 30 southeast Georgia counties. Deal has set a 10 a.m. press conference on Friday with the head of Georgia’s emergency management agency and other public safety officials to outline the state’s storm response. READ MORE