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In Georgia, coronavirus throws hurricane plans into turmoil

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(Source: NOAA via MGN)

By: The Associated Press
May 31, pk彩票

ATLANTA (AP) — Emergency officials in some Georgia coastal counties are nervously bracing for this year’s hurricane season amid new dangers posed by the coronavirus to people who would require help evacuating.

“If we have to evacuate, it’s going to be a nightmare,” said Ty Poppell, director of the Emergency Management Agency in McIntosh County south of Savannah.

Poppell said putting evacuees on a bus and maintaining six feet of space (two meters) around each person to help prevent potential exposure to the virus would be a big problem.

As of mid-May, the county was still working to update its hurricane response for the virus, Poppell said. Hurricane season officially starts Monday, and forecasters are expecting a busier-than-normal season.

State officials are looking at hotels and motels as a sheltering option and “striving” to have smaller shelter populations, the Georgia Emergency Management & pk彩票land Security Agency said in an email.

Motels and hotels can be helpful in isolating COVID-19 patients or people suspected of having the virus.

Every shelter would screen evacuees for the virus during registration, Georgia’s emergency management agency added, though it did not elaborate on how that would be done. It received federal guidelines for sheltering on May 15, it said.

“We also ask that Georgians begin formulating plans for themselves, their families and pets now, in the event an evacuation is necessary in the future,” the agency said in its email.

Other county officials said they would require masks for any evacuees and had enough supplies to provide them.