Google Maps’ traffic overlay is reporting abnormally high traffic movements in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina for a Thursday as residents prepare for Hurricane Irma’s imminent landfall.
Current forecasts suggest that the storm will strike Miami, and skirt along Florida’s spine into Georgia. This has also prompted Florida authorities to issue evacuation orders for certain areas. Georgian authorities have today announced mandatory evacuation in effect from Saturday morning.
Traffic movements are heaviest on the interstates’ right-hand side suggesting an exodus. Movements around Atlanta, Charleston and Jacksonville are markedly heavier than normal.
Interstate-75 (upper left), Interstate-95 (along the eastern coastline) and Florida Turnpike (red line connecting the two interstates) are the most congested, Google Maps suggests.
Typical traffic flow for a Thursday is usually much calmer, as seen below.
Road traffic isn’t the only spike Google has noticed. Searches for the three currently active hurricanes in the Atlantic — Irma, Jose and Katia — have prompted a jump in search queries in the past week.
At present, Hurricane Irma is set to reach Florida’s most southerly point Sunday.
You can have a closer look at the southeastern United States’ traffic flow live here, or the embedded map below.