SAVANNAH, Ga. — Public schools in the Savannah area have closed as coastal Georgia prepares for possible impacts from Hurricane Matthew.

The Savannah-Chatham County school board has cancelled classes Wednesday through Friday because of the weather threat. On Wednesday morning, the powerful storm was churning northward through the Bahamas with its dangerous winds still more than 700 miles from the Georgia coast.

The National Weather Service predicts Matthew will move close to the Atlantic coasts of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas in the coming days.

Gov. Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency for 13 Georgia counties and ordered state emergency management officials to work closely with local agencies.