As another round of winter weather heads toward Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal has extended his State of Emergency declaration to 45 counties including Gwinnett, DeKalb, Cobb, Fulton, Douglas, and Carroll in metro Atlanta.
He says the state is prepared for two weather events, the more significant of which is expected to bring ice by Wednesday.
“Whereas we did not lose power in the most recent incident, ice, as you know, presents a great challenge for the maintenance of utilities,” says Deal.
Georgia Power’s early operations director, Aaron Strickland, says power crews from Florida, Texas, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania are coming here to help with any outages caused by downed trees.
“Ice is probably one of the worst events that we face, and when you’re talking about the amount of ice that we’re looking at, it’s catastrophic,” he says.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says the city has doubled its number of snow plows and spreaders with the use of private contractors. Crews plans to begin pre-treating the roads as soon as 6pm tonight.
City of Atlanta schools is among the first to close its doors to students both Tuesday and Wednesday.
Deal is putting a liberal leave policy in place for state employees. They will be able to make their own determination if it is safe or not to come to work Tuesday.
“I would urge individuals to use their best efforts to be prepared as well… to use their own good judgment, not depend on somebody having to tell them what to do,” he says.
But Deal is urging everyone to stay off the roads for Wednesday.
“Not only do schools probably not need to be open, but we need to keep as many people off the roads as possible if the conditions are as currently projected to be,” he says.