Alabamians and Georgians asked to prepare for traffic as Irma evacuees make their way home

EAST ALABAMA AND GEORGIA — As Irma evacuees start the long journey of putting their lives back together, Alabamians and Georgians are asked to expect traffic over the next few days as evacuees head home.

Tuesday afternoon, Ann Keith hit the road to head back to her home in Bristol, Florida.

“I’m ready,” Keith said. “We’ve been up here since Saturday, and we’re all ready to go home and get back to normal life. The area my home is in was not hit that hard; thank God. We have lights, and everything is fine.”

Drivers in Alabama are urged to avoid major roadways for the next couple of days if they can to cut down on some of the congestion. State troopers and other agencies will be out on the road, monitoring traffic and making sure people get to where they need to go safely.

Those heading back home are asked to not drive fatigued and expect bumper to bumper traffic. All drivers are asked to not drive distracted, obey all traffic laws and have patience.

“You survive a hurricane, and then you turn around and get involved in a tragic crash on a major roadway trying to get back home, that’s something nobody wants to do, but it’s a real possibility,” Cpl. Jess Thornton said. “Focus on what’s important. There may be loss of property, but you can’t replace a life.”

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said before anyone can return to an area that was under a mandatory evacuation, two things must happen.

“There must be bridge inspections for any bridges leading into those particular areas that were supposed to have been evacuated,” Gov. Deal said. “Secondly, they have to have local approval for re-entry.”

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