GDOT has pulled crews off the roads this afternoon in the east central Georgia area. The crews charged with clean up will suspend work due to “increased winds and rain”.

“The safety of all Georgia residents and Georgia DOT employees is paramount. We cannot allow our employees to enter and work in unsafe areas,” Georgia DOT Commissioner Russell McMurry said. “We ask for the public’s patience in allowing our crews the time to safely clear roadways and inspect bridges.”

While reports of down trees, power lines, and street light outages are important, all request for assistance are being put on hold. Andrew Heath Georgia DOT’s State Traffic Operations Engineer, echoes local officials calling for everyone to stay off the roads.

“With heavy rainfall, flash flooding and high winds, we expect downed trees and power lines that will directly impact travel on our roadways throughout the entire state. It is important for residents to continue to stay in a safe location and not be on the roadway during the storm,” said Georgia DOT’s State Traffic Operations Engineer Andrew Heath.

Once it is safe to re-enter areas impacted by Irma, nearly 800 Georgia DOT employees will begin clearing debris from the roadway, inspect bridges for safe reopening, restore downed or broken traffic signals and ensure the safety of the travelling public.

Priority will be given to clearing the interstates and heavily traveled state routes and arterials so that emergency personnel and power crews can take care of resident’s basic needs. In addition, more than 40 bridge inspectors will be inspecting bridges once the water goes down and they are able to inspect hundreds of bridges throughout the state.