ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is urging locals who are looking to stay in coastal Georgia as the dangerous Hurricane Matthew marches toward the area to take heed to his mandatory evacuation order and leave.

Deal said Thursday several state agencies are collaborating to help locals evacuate. But the governor says people looking to stay put and endure the storm are endangering themselves.

Deal ordered mandatory evacuations along the entire Georgia coast as the storm approaches. He said everyone east of Interstate 95 should flee Georgia’s six coastal counties — Chatham, Bryan, Liberty, McIntosh, Glynn and Camden.

Those counties have a combined population of more than 522,000 people.

Deal says the storm has the potential to inflict the loss of life, and wants people to avoid that dangerous measure.