As you may have already heard, CEMA (Chatham Emergency Management Agency) has issued a mandatory evacuation order for all of Chatham County, and all counties east of I-95. I urge all of you to follow CEMA’s recommendation and evacuate the area as soon as possible. (I evacuated the area this morning.)
Hurricane Matthew is supposed to hit Savannah on Friday night and Saturday morning. The city anticipates significant damage to power lines and power outages for at least 72 hours after the storm. If you return within 72 hours or try to stay to weather the storm, be prepared to go without power (i.e. make sure you have fresh water, non-perishable foods, flashlights, candles, batteries, etc.) For a more thorough list of evacuation supplies, see https://www.ready.gov/kit.
At this time, my hope is to return to Savannah in time to hold our regular Sunday worship for anyone who remains in town. Until you hear otherwise, that is the plan. That said, if the conditions in Savannah on Saturday and Sunday are unsafe and people cannot return, we may cancel Sunday services. I will keep track of the weather forecasts and make a final decision by Friday night. Please check our blog and Facebook page for the latest updates.
Please call or email me directly if there is anything I can do. I know some Episcopal priests in Savannah plan not to evacuate and I can help you reach them if there is an urgent pastoral need.
Stay safe and may God bless us all!
O God, in you we find safety. As we prepare for the arrival of the impending storm, may we be gathered in the safety of your loving embrace. As we face the possibility of danger through lost power, damaged homes, workplaces, and houses of worship, keep us and our dear ones safe. May your love for us unite us -- and support us; and enable us to support those for whom danger breaches their hope. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
The Peace of the Lord be with you,