Bryan County Schools Superintendent Paul Brooksher has announced that schools will be closed Friday, Monday and Tuesday due to the possible impacts of Hurricane Irma.
“Considering the effects of Hurricane Matthew in October and the recent devastation as a result of Hurricane Harvey, we want to be extremely cautious as we make decisions that impact the lives of our 1,200-plus employees and 9,000-plus students,” he said. “The volume of traffic traveling I-95 and I-16 continues to grow significantly due to evacuations from Florida. This causes us concern for our Bryan County families as they make preparations for Hurricane Irma.”
Local officials continue to monitor the path of Irma, which is now a Category 5 storm as it passes through the Caribbean. It is expected to be a Category 4 by the time it hits the Miami area early Sunday morning and could be a Category 3 if and when it reaches southeast Georgia on Monday.
Bryan County Emergency Services Chief Freddy Howell said city and county officials are working closely with state and federal agencies to track the storm and an evacuation order could be issues Saturday.
Gov. Nathan Deal Wednesday declared a state of emergency for Bryan, Chatham, Liberty, McIntosh, Glynn and Camden counties.
Projections of the path Irma will take once it hits Florida are still uncertain, Howell said. It could continue west into the Gulf of Mexico, get pushed east back into the Atlantic Ocean or travel up the east coast of Florida and into Georgia and the Carolinas.
Brooksher said the district’s website and Facebook pages would be updated with further information about school closings as warranted.