One School In Georgia Is Already Delaying Classes Due To Hurricane Irma

by Joseph D. Lyons

One thing is for certain: Hurricane Irma will hit the Leeward Islands and the Northern Caribbean in the following days. But from there, all bets are off. The National Hurricane Center isn't predicting too far into the future, but private weather services like AccuWeather and The Weather Channel say that Irma could hit Florida, Georgia, or elsewhere on the Gulf or East coasts. Right now, though, it's just too soon to predict with 100 percent accuracy where that will be.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is covering the possibility of landfall in the state. "Hurricane Irma could affect Georgia next week," a headline read on Tuesday. Quoting a local meteorologist, the article focused on the strength of the storm and its path towards the United States. "Everybody in the southeast needs to pay close attention to this system,” Atlanta's Channel 2 meteorologist Brian Monahan told the paper.

"The best we can tell you now is that there is the possibility for rain/wind impacts on Georgia as early as about Monday of next week," Monahan explained. Georgia has not started making the preparations to the same degree as neighboring Florida, where a state of emergency was already declared, but there are some precautions being taken.

One school, at least, is taking the threat of Irma seriously. The Savannah College of Art and Design has decided to delay the start of classes. "Due to the magnitude of the storm and the uncertainty of Hurricane Irma's path, SCAD will postpone the start of classes for Savannah, Atlanta, and eLearning for one week," the school said in a statement, noting that students and their families should not come to campus early due to the risk of the storm.

AccuWeather has warned about the potential for the storm to affect the East Coast more generally. Hurricane Harvey complicates matters further. "This hurricane has the potential to be a major event for the East Coast. It also has the potential to significantly strain FEMA and other governmental resources occurring so quickly on the heels of Harvey," Evan Myers, a meteorologist for the site warned.

The Weather Channel acknowledged that their forecast gets murky after the storm hits South Florida sometime on Saturday. "The linchpin to the forecast is exactly when and where Irma makes its northward turn," the weather forecaster published online. Essentially it could enter the Gulf, head up Florida, or stay to the east.

Early Wednesday morning, Hurricane Irma was a Category 5 with maximum sustained winds of 185 miles per hour.