VALDOSTA – It seems as if South Georgia escaped Hurricane Dorian’s path, according to forecasters.

Valdosta is “in the clear,” Israel Gonzalez, meteorologist intern with the National Weather Service Tallahassee, Fla., office, said Wednesday.

Lowndes County should feel a breeze of 20-25 miles per hour with low rain chances during the next few days, he said.

The minimal chances of rain are due to the presence of hot, dry air.

The Category 2 storm was moving north-northwest at nine miles per hour and chances of it turning toward the Georgia coast are “slim,” forecasters say.

While Hurricane Dorian is migrating slowly through the Atlantic, moving farther away from Georgia, Gonzalez said coastal counties are “under a tropical storm warning with portions under a hurricane watch.”

Hurricane Dorian picked up speed after lingering in the Bahamas for more than 24 hours causing flooding and destruction.

Twenty-one Georgia counties, including Echols and Clinch, were under a state of the emergency per a statement from the governor’s office Wednesday morning.

South Georgia has become a shelter for Florida evacuees as hotel owners previously said their rooms began filling up late last week.

Gonzalez said the steadily increasing hurricane was 90 miles east-northeast of Daytona Beach, Fla., as of the weather service’s 10 a.m. Wednesday advisory.

The storm’s core was expected to move away from the Florida coast starting Wednesday night and into Thursday morning; however, Florida could experience an impact from the storm’s western circulation, Gonzalez said.

At 8 a.m. Thursday, the center of Hurricane Dorian is expected to move off-shore of the Georgia/South Carolina border though the core will come close to the Carolinas, he said.

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