The press release announcing the declaration described the currently forecast path of the storm as follows:
Ian is now a Category 3 hurricane moving north at roughly 10 mph with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph. Further strengthening is expected, with Ian forecast to reach Category 4 status before slowly weakening tonight and during its expected landfall tomorrow and Thursday over west-central Florida. Starting Friday, Ian will likely impact Southeastern Georgia as a tropical storm or tropical depression with heavy rainfall. Though there is still uncertainty about its ultimate path on Friday and into the weekend, tropical storm force sustained winds of over 40 mph will be possible across all of Georgia on Friday and Saturday. Damaging winds will be possible statewide, even well away from the center of the storm, and downed trees and powerlines are possible statewide on Friday and Saturday. Widespread rainfall of 2 to 4 inches is also possible statewide, with 4 to 6 inches or more forecast in Southeast Georgia. Flash flooding, power outages, and other dangerous situations are possible, especially in Southeast Georgia.
Impact of the storm likely to hit Georgia far east of Cobb County
While heavy rains and damaging winds are possible across the entire state, the storm is expected to diminish into tropical storm status, and have the heaviest impact in the coastal areas.
The Georgia Department of Transportation, which issued a news release describing its preparation for the possible incoming storm, is preparing for impact as early as Thursday, and is halting all projects along interstates 16, 75 and 95 south of Atlanta that require lane closures.
The GDOT also expects the impacts to potentially last through Saturday, October 1.