CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) — Chairman Chester A. Ellis has issued a local State of Emergency for Chatham County as of 8 a.m. Wednesday morning. The Chatham County Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) has also moved to the Storm Readiness Phase, or OPCON 2, in anticipation of impacts caused by Hurricane Ian.

The greatest potential for impacts to Chatham County Thursday night into Friday could be heavy rainfall, with predictions of 4-8” inches in 24 hours and Tropical Storm force wind gusts. There is also a potential for coastal flood due to elevated tides and possible storm surges.

Officials urge residents in low-lying areas to stay alert for possible flooding. Risk of severe weather, including tornadoes, also exists.

CEMA’s storm readiness activities include:

  • Conducting coordination calls with the Command Policy Group, County and Municipal leaders, surrounding Emergency Management Agencies, State officials, volunteer and private sector partners, and the National Weather Service for an in-depth discussion of the latest forecasts and storm scenarios.
  • The County’s Emergency Operations Center will be at a Level II Activation with staffing specifically dedicated to monitoring storm conditions, predictions, and potential impacts as well as ensuring information is shared with stakeholders.

Residents can sign up for CEMA Alerts at or text CEMA to 77295.