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Dorian: Wednesday afternoon update
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The initial wind/rain bands from Hurricane Dorian have made their way into the Savannah area. Dorian will pass by as a Category 2 storm.

40-50 mph sustained winds inland are expected overnight, with 50-60 mph along the coast.

The strongest winds are expected to begin hitting the area around 9 p.m. tonight and continue for roughly 12 hours, with peak winds between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.

A curfew remains in effect in the City of Savannah and City of Thunderbolt from 9 p.m.-6 a.m. tonight.

Chatham Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) is discouraging any evacuees from trying to return immediately.

CEMA says when ready, re-entry will be phased, in this order:

Phase 1 is for emergency crews to render the area safe from hazards like downed power lines, and to make sure bridges are safe.

Phase 2 is to bring in public safety crews for any rescue/safety purposes.

Phase 3 is for utility crews to restore services.

Phase 4 is for residents.

Phase 5 is for general public.

CEMA says there could be further restrictions on areas throughout the community as needed for safety reasons.

Contrary to any rumor you might have heard, there are NO plans to shut off any water service in Chatham County.

All local hospital emergency rooms will remain open for patients.

From 3 p.m. on, the Savannah Civic Center will be open as a refuge of last resort, with an evening meal scheduled. Transportation is on your own, however, as Chatham Area Transit has already ceased all operations for the duration of the storm.

The Talmadge Bridge will remain closed until further notice.

A downed tree in the Highlands area of West Chatham has caused a power outage to about 2,000 residents. Georgia Power and contractors are on the scene working to restore power as long as conditions allow.

Power is out in some areas of the islands.

Chatham County courts will be closed through Friday and reopen on Monday.

Georgia Southern University is canceling classes for Friday, Sept. 6. University officials will make an announcement Thursday evening about whether some or all business operations — including the re-opening of dining facilities and the residence halls on the Armstrong Campus — can resume on Friday.

The Eagles football home opener against Maine at Paulson Stadium is still scheduled for Saturday at 6 p.m.