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South Georgia family heads north to get away from Irma

ALBANY, Ga. — Just 70 miles north of the Florida state line, where the storm is expected to hit by Monday afternoon, residents have to decide whether to stay or go by 5 p.m. on Sunday. Those who opt to stay behind were told to stay inside until Irma passes.

Whitney Lee, 29, and eight months pregnant, decided to go. She, her husband, their cat, and some friends drove up to Atlanta, Saturday night.  She and her husband are hunkered down at his folks’ place. (The cat is with another relative). Lee wanted to bring her diaper bag and car seat when she evacuated, but there wasn’t space in the car. She did bring her medical records just in case she goes into labor.

“When the storm shifted and it became clear that it would probably still be a hurricane by the time it got to Albany, we decided to go,” said Lee, a civil legal aid attorney. “I’m eight months pregnant, so I can’t do it. I’m concerned about not having access to medical care. With what happened in Albany in January [during a severe storm] with all the trees being down, it was really difficult to get anywhere for care.”

Sunday was the couple’s anniversary.  No fancy plans. They’ll spend their special day with family — which is fine with her.

“Today I’m watching football all day,” she said happily. “Tomorrow I’m just going to hunker down and hope that everything is okay. We don’t really have any plans other than being safe.”

— Camille Pendley

Hurricane Irma: Storm moves north after pounding Florida
Heavy winds and rain are seen in Miami on Sunday. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Irma, the record-setting hurricane that devastated islands across the Caribbean, has been churning north through Florida — and has turned its sights on Georgia.

Visit the Capital Weather Gang’s live updates page for more on the storm.