Downgraded to a tropical storm, Irma hit Georgia early Monday, causing intermittent power outages, flooding and downed trees on and around Emory’s Atlanta and Oxford campuses. Irma was downgraded to a tropical depression Monday night, but will still continue to flood parts of the Georgia and South Carolina coast, according to The Weather Channel.
The University will be closed Tuesday due to severe weather conditions from Hurricane Irma, according to a Monday University-wide email.
At least two people have died in Georgia from Irma, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Intermittent power outages, some dysfunctional stoplights, debris and fallen trees on roads on and near campus have been reported to Emory Police Department, according to Sgt. John Harper. Several trees on the Oxford College quad and along the train tracks near Druid Hills High School also fell, according to EPD’s Twitter.
“Winds are gusting over 50 mph county-wide. Please, shelter in place. … It is not safe to drive,” DeKalb County Emergency Management Agency tweeted Monday evening. A wind gust reached 59 mph at a site near Emory, according to the AJC.
Clairmont campus experienced intermittent power outages Monday./Julia Munslow, Editor-in-Chief
Power has been flickering on and off intermittently Monday at Clairmont campus, the Atlanta campus and Emory Point. Power at Highland Square was out for at least two hours Monday.
Nearly a quarter of DeKalb County had lost power from Irma’s heavy winds and rain as of 3 p.m. on Monday, DeKalb County schools spokesperson Quinn Hudson told the AJC. More damage is expected due to sustained winds of 35-45 mph later Monday and overnight into Tuesday, according to DeKalb County’s Twitter account.
As of 5 p.m. Monday, more than 748,000 Georgia Power customers are without power, according to Georgia Power’s Twitter. Its crews will assess damage and conduct repairs to power lines once the storm passes. Restoration could take several days or weeks depending on the damage, according to Georgia Power.
Roads across Georgia, including some in Atlanta, DeKalb County and Sandy Springs, have been closed from fallen trees, the AJC reported.
Sections of Buford Road., N. Druid Woods Court, N. Druid Hills Road and Briarcliff Road are currently closed in DeKalb County due to downed trees as of Monday at 5:30 p.m., according to DeKalb County Government Communications. Near campus, a tree on Burlington Road fell early Monday, shutting down the street until it was cleared around 11:26 a.m., according to EPD. Trees toppled power lines at the intersection of Scott Blvd. and Clairemont Road, according to a tweet from Fox 5 Atlanta’s Claire Simms.
The first Irma-related death in Georgia occurred in Worth County near Albany, Ga., where a man was killed Monday after heavy winds swept him off his roof, the AJC reported. In another incident, a 55-year-old man died after a tree fell on his house in Sandy Springs, Ga., according to Fox 5.
Emory’s shuttle service is scheduled to stop at 8 p.m. Monday, according to a Rider announcement. There will be reduced service Tuesday, with only C, D and M routes running.
On Tuesday, the DUC-ling will have normal operating hours from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Clairmont Cafe will open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Ray’s Pizza at Woodruff Residential will open noon to 6 p.m., the Depot by Kaldi’s will open 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Highland Bakery at Goizueta Business School will open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, according to an email from Campus Life Monday night.
Atlanta Public Schools will remain closed tomorrow, according to its Twitter. Atlanta’s government offices and municipal court will also be closed tomorrow, according to a Monday press release from the mayor’s office of communications. Streetcar service has been suspended until Wednesday, the release said.
University President Claire E. Sterk tweeted Monday, “Contending with #Irma on 9/11 reminds me of the importance of being there for others, caring for those in need, and staying humble.”
On Sunday, Gov. Nathan Deal issued a state of emergency for all counties in Georgia. President Donald J. Trump declared a state of emergency in Georgia and ordered federal assistance to response efforts for Irma, according to a White House press release Friday.
Early Sunday, the National Weather Service issued a tropical storm warning for DeKalb County early Sunday for 36 hours until Tuesday. Destructive wind, flash flooding and tornadoes could affect the area, according to the National Weather Service.
“There is no need to evacuate Emory campuses; the community will follow the procedures to shelter in place should we need to do so,” the University said in a press release and University-wide email early Sunday. “The university’s emergency notification system will be used to send out urgent actionable information.”
Emory’s Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR) urged people to download the LiveSafe App, which offers alerts from University safety officials and access to emergency procedures, in an all-Emory email Thursday.
UPDATE (9/11/17 at 8:33 p.m.): The article was updated to reflect an email from Campus Life.
UPDATE (9/11/17 at 11:36 p.m.): The article was updated to reflect that Irma was downgraded to a tropical depression.