DOT: “Stay Put! Don’t Drive” (2-12-14)

Most area roads in North Georgia look like my driveway.

Most area roads in North Georgia look like my driveway.

Georgia is closed.  A State of Emergency has been declared for 91 counties in the state.

More than 60,000 customers in Atlanta are without power.

Roads are frozen and worse weather is coming.

With the threat of a “catastrophic” storm looming, Georgia DOT dump trucks mounted with snow plows and spreaders, escorted by Georgia State Patrol blue lights, lined metro Atlanta interstates together, united against the impending ice storm.

At approximately 9:00 pm Tuesday night,  Georgia DOT crews began a systematic treatment and retreatment of metro area interstates, running their routes accompanied by the safety of the GSP escorts.

Latest weather predictions call for a “catastrophic ice storm” that could include extreme black ice; 6-7+ inches of snow across North Georgia; freezing rain with up to 1 inch of ice accumulation north and south of the I-20 corridor; and 20 -30 mph winds which increase the  threat for widespread downed limbs, trees and power  lines.

“This is a very dangerous ice storm and we strongly encourage the public to stay off the roads unless it is an extreme emergency, to allow us to do our work” said Georgia DOT Commissioner Keith Golden.

The Department is working with the Outdoor Advertising Association of Georgia (OAAG) to post advisories and messages on over 250 electronic billboards across the state.  Information will also be posted on Changeable Message Signs in the metro area.

The Department has more than 682 personnel and  369 trucks with plows and spreaders tackling the winter storm.  Metro Atlanta district has 75 trucks and 84 personnel working the current shift.

Georgia DOT  continues to coordinate with all state agencies at the Emergency Operations Center and Special Operations Center which  will remain active throughout this winter storm event.

After the storm, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency advises to use flashlights for emergency lighting if there is a loss of electric service; use kerosene heaters only in well-ventilated areas; do not store objects or dry clothes on heaters and remember to disconnect or turn off appliances that were in use when the power went out.