LIVE: Georgia governor briefing on Irma

In this Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, photo, damage is left after Hurricane Irma hit Barbuda. Hurricane Irma battered the Turks and Caicos Islands early Friday as the fearsome Category 5 storm continued a rampage through the Caribbean that has killed a number of people, with Florida in its sights. (AP Photo/Anika E. Kentish)


SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) – Shifting forecasts raised the threat to the Southeast from fierce Hurricane Irma and prompted emergency declarations in the Carolinas and coastal Georgia, including areas that haven’t suffered a direct hit from a major hurricane in more than a century.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency Wednesday for the state’s 100-mile (160-kilometer) swath of Atlantic coast, which was last struck by a hurricane of force Category 3 or higher in 1898.

His South Carolina counterpart, Gov. Henry McMaster, declared an emergency for that neighboring state as officials assessed the chances of receiving a major hurricane strike there for the first time in nearly 28 years.

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