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Local, state officials urge vigilance as Dorian approaches
I-16 to be westbound only; GS, OTC close campuses
This GOES-16 satellite image taken Sunday at 17:00 UTC shows Hurricane Dorian churning over the Atlantic Ocean. (NOAA via AP)

As Hurricane Dorian continues on its slow path north and slightly east, Bulloch County officials are closely monitoring the dangerous storm and urge local residents to do the same.

"On (Dorian's) current timeline, the earliest we could expect tropical storm force winds would be Tuesday night," said Ted Wynn, director for Bulloch County Public Safety, in a release Monday afternoon. "The strength of these winds would depend on how close to the Georgia coast Dorian comes. There is still some uncertainty in Dorian's track, so remain vigilant."

With a mandatory evacuation ordered by Gov. Brian Kemp of areas of coastal Georgia east of Interstate 95 beginning Monday, the Georgia Department of Transportation announced that all lanes of Interstate 16 would be open to westbound traffic only beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday from Savannah to US 441 in Dublin.

Working in coordination with the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency and Georgia State Patrol, the state DOT said the lanes would remain westbound only until further notice.

Meanwhile, in anticipation of the storm, all classes on Tuesday and Wednesday at Georgia Southern University are cancelled, the university announced Sunday afternoon. All Georgia Southern campuses in Statesboro, Hinesville and Savannah will be closed on those days.

Michelle Davis, vice president for College Advancement at Ogeechee Technical College, said Monday morning that OTC also would cancel classes on Tuesday and Wednesday. She said the college plans to resume a normal schedule on Thursday.

Tuesday was scheduled as a faculty/staff training day for Bulloch County Schools and that will move forward as planned, according to Hayley Greene, public relations and marketing specialist with the school system.

"Bulloch County Schools will wait for further developments about the storm before they make any further decisions about school for students on Wednesday and the remainder of the week," Green said in a release. "The school system will release another update by 3 p.m. on Tuesday."

Bulloch Academy announced that officials are monitoring the hurricane and will announce any decision when appropriate.

According to its website, East Georgia State College also is canceling all classes on Tuesday and Wednesday in Statesboro. Classes in Swainsboro and Augusta will go on without change.

Kemp ordered mandatory evacuations in all six counties that make up Georgia's 100-mile coastline, east of I-95.

He said those living on Georgia's barrier islands especially ought to flee, warning that emergency responders may not be able to reach them if causeways are underwater or blocked by debris.

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