Press Release

Quicklink to CEMA (Chatham Emergency Management Agency) Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 7, 2017

RE:          World Soybean Research Conference in Savannah Cancelled due to Hurricane Irma

As projected by the National Hurricane Center and other weather authorities there is an extremely high probability coastal Georgia including Savannah will be in the path of Hurricane Irma.  The forecasted track as of early this morning, Thursday, September 7, 2017, shows hurricane force winds could reach Savannah by Tuesday morning (9/12).  Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency for the coastal counties of Georgia, including Chatham County where Savannah is located.

On recommendation of Savannah authorities, and in consideration of the safety of our conference participants, the World Soybean Research Conference-10 must unfortunately be cancelled.  This action is being taken under extreme concern for the safety and well-being of our research presenters, exhibitors and attendees.  We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused but the potential harm or loss of human life which could be caused by this catastrophic storm is too great a threat to ignore.

Please contact your hotel to confirm cancellation of your room reservations. 

Updates and future communications from the WSRC-10 Organizing Committee will be posted on the conference web site,  Distribution of abstracts, research reports and future presentation opportunities will be announced at a later date.

Thank you for your understanding.

World Soybean Research Conference – 10
Organizing Committee

Dr. Zenglu Li
Dr. Scott Jackson
Dr. Wayne Parrott

For More Information Contact:
Kelley Atkinson, Conference Coordinator


CEMA (Chatham Emergency Management Agency) Press Release


SAVANNAH, GA (September 7, 2017) -At noon today, Governor Nathan Deal issued a mandatory evacuation for those in Chatham County. This mandatory evacuation begins on Saturday September 9, 2017 at 8 AM. An evacuation will occur for functional, access, and medical needs citizens on Friday September 8, 2017 at 8 AM. The contraflow for I-16 will begin at 8 AM on Saturday as well. Tybee Island Mayor Jason Beulterman has announced evacuation for Tybee Island will start on Friday morning at 8 AM due to the high tides on Hwy. 80 and subsequent flooding.  The Evacuation Assembly Area will open at 8 AM at the Civic Center.

Shelters are in the process of opening across Georgia. To find a shelter please call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

A local state of emergency has been issued today at 2 PM. Enacting this ordinance allows CEMA to use the full resource of the county and municipalities.  Other provisions of the ordinance include, prohibiting price gouging, issuing evacuation orders, suspending laws that are in conflict with the Emergency Management Ordinance, and the authority to establish curfews. Citizens can report price gouging by calling the Georgia Department of Law’s Consumer Protection Unit at 404-651-8600 or 1-800-869-1123.

The Chatham Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) is closely monitoring Hurricane Irma and is coordinating response efforts with local, regional, and state agencies. CEMA went into OPCON 3 at 2 PM today, which is the Readiness Phase and implements additional coordination activities.

Irma, is a Category 5 Hurricane with maximum sustained winds at 175 mph, moving west/northwest at 16 mph and tropical storm force winds extending 185 miles from the center of the storm. Residents and businesses should monitor official sources for current weather information.

Community-wide preparations include:

  • Preparing partners, property and your family for storm conditions. Secure any items that can easily be blown around by strong winds.
  • Ensure fuel tanks are topped off and finalize personal emergency kits and communication plans.
  • Coordinate with family, friends and co-workers to ensure awareness and timing of storm potential.
  • Follow official sources for storm updates.
  • All partners that have a responsibility in the County’s Emergency Operations Plan should take this time to ensure you are ready to support.
  • Ensure you have an accurate inventory or video record of the contents of your home.