Georgia DOT prepares for hurricane evacuees as Dorian approaches landfall

Hurricane Dorian looks to hit the Florida coast late this Sunday

August 30, 2019
Georgia DOT prepares for hurricane evacuees as Dorian approaches landfall
Georgia DOT prepares for hurricane evacuees as Dorian approaches landfall

In the wake of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ announcement of a state of emergency in advance of Hurricane Dorian’ imminent landfall, expected sometime this coming Sunday, the Georgia DOT (GDOT) has begun preparing one of its primary evacuation routes for a potential influx of Florida evacuees.


GDOT has begun realigning barricades on I-75 near Hahira, which will open the left lane of the interstate both northbound and southbound. GDOT representative Nita Birmingham, in announcing the preparation work, also noted that the state of Georgia does not allow driving on the shoulder, a practice allowed in Florida in cases of emergency and/or evacuation. Message boards have been updated to remind drivers coming into Georgia of this changes in rules.


Among the weather events Floridians and Georgians can expect when Dorian reaches dry land are possible tropical storm or hurricane conditions including torrential rainfall, strong winds with potential for downed trees and power lines and possible tornadoes.


GDOT has also readied Special Response Teams as well as bridge inspection teams to monitor the potential need for bridge closures in coastal Georgia. Statewide, Georgia DOT crews are prepared to deploy as needed.


GDOT’s Transportation Management Center (TMC) is monitoring traffic conditions statewide. GDOT will stage more heavily concentrated CHAMP patrols on I-75 near the Georgia/Florida border as needed. GDOT is also actively engaged in the removal of trees and overgrown brush along state rights-of-way to mitigate the possibility of falling trees across roadways, a particular danger during hurricanes and tropical storms.


Due to Labor Day Weekend, GDOT previously suspended construction-related lane closures on interstates and major state routes across the state from noon Friday, Aug. 30 until 5 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3.


The state has been undertaking several aggressive projects over the past several years, many of which will benefit emergency response as well as aid mobility and reduce traffic congestion.


Florida has been engaged in a years-long quest to expand capacity on I-75, which is one of only three primary emergency evacuation routes out of the southern coastal portion of the state. The final portion of this work, in the Ft. Myers area, has been named to Roads & Bridges 2019 Top 10 Roads Awards winners—so keep an eye out for the upcoming October issue, which will be available here on Oct. 4, to learn more about it.


Image: GDOT Twitter

Related Articles

This month, the Florida DOT (FDOT) is celebrating Florida Bicycle Month to encourage bicycling and recognize its role in providing transportation and…
March 02, 2021
Several U.S. lawmakers recently introduced the Complete Streets Act in Congress, legislation that would promote safer and more accessible…
March 01, 2021
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) this week released new year-end estimates showing total U.S. driving fell by 13.2%—from 3.3 trillion…
February 26, 2021
The Jumping Fish sculpture Sarasota, Florida
The Jumping Fish sculpture stands 16 ft high by 12 ft wide in the center island of the modern roundabout at Cocoanut Avenue & Palm Avenue. The sculpture was selected from among 140 submissions and is the 84th piece in Sarasota’s Public Art Collection. It was sculpted in 2019 by Jeff Laramore. Image courtesy of City of Sarasota; photography by Nate Ilardi.
Sarasota, Florida is a city that has long proudly supported the arts. The city’s vibrant arts scene includes the Ringling College of Art and Design…
February 22, 2021