As Hurricane Michael approaches, EMA officials share what to expect

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Minute by minute the updates are changing as a strengthening Hurricane Michael continues to make its way closer.

“Right now, Michael, according to the forecast track, still has it coming up through the panhandle of Florida and through most of Central Georgia,” said EMA Director Spencer Hawkins.

With Michael now on track to come right through Georgia, Governor Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency for 92 counties including several in Middle Georgia.

“It’s right on the verge of a category two turning into a category three storm so we’re making all necessary preparations to respond to the storm,” Hawkins told 41NBC.

Macon-Bibb EMA Director Spencer Hawkins says they’re expecting some heavy rain to come through.

“We’re probably going to see 3-5 inches of rain. There may be some localized areas where you see 6 inches of rain,” he continued.

But their biggest concern for potential damage is the anticipated high powered winds.

“We’re in the 70-80% chance that we’re gonna see tropical storm force winds so we’re talking 39-40 mile per hour winds,” Hawkins explained.

They’re asking residents to prepare their households.

“This is going to be an overnight storm so if you don’t have your flashlights and batteries and weather radio and emergency applies, you can’t get them. You’re not going to be prepared and you won’t be able to keep you and your family safe,” he said.

Being prepared means having a plan in place and a kit ready to go And staying informed on what’s going on for the safety of your family.

“Make sure you have flash lights, batteries, a weather radio, first aid kit, cell phone charger, all the necessary items that you’d need through this storm,” Hawkins said.

The EMA did open one shelter earlier this evening at the South Bibb Rec Center. IT holds about 200 people but they do not allow pets.

For the latest updates on changes with the storm, you can download the 41NBC Accuweather app or sign up for MBC alerts through the Macon-Bibb County website.