CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Should the Coastal Empire be hit by a major natural disaster more than 275,000 residents would need to evacuate as quickly as possible.
That is why the Chatham Emergency Management Agency and the Georgia Dept. of Transportation have created a system known as contra flow.
"It's going to be tight, even with the contra flow system. It's going to be a mad house, but this gives us the opportunity to make sure we can turn it quickly, and when we need it, when the mandatory evacuation starts, we can do it without delay," said CEMA Director Clayton Scott.
Should a hurricane strike, all four lanes of Interstate 16 would carry traffic westbound for 125 miles to Dublin.
On Wednesday, officials set up staging areas in Statesboro, Jesup and Waycross and Savannah to see how fast emergency managers could respond.
One staging area was set up on I-16 just before the Chatham Parkway exit. The temporary crossover would allow more people to get out of harm's way in better time.
They said it's a plan they hope they never have to use.