State and local officials prepare for potential weather related problems
The National Weather Service in Atlanta has issued a Black Ice warning through Tuesday morning for portions of north and central Georgia, including the Atlanta Metro area as well as Walton, Gwinnett and surrounding counties.
Rainfall associated with an approaching cold front will be moving through the region this afternoon and evening. As the rain exits the region this evening cold air will filter into the area quickly behind the rainfall. In addition…relative humidity values are expected to remain high over night. As a result of the temperatures quickly dropping below freezing and relative humidity values remaining high…many area roads and bridges will not have an opportunity to dry off and subsequently have an opportunity to freeze overnight and into the early AM resulting in areas of black ice. Areas along and north and west of the Interstate 85 corridor have the greatest risk of black ice forming. Counties and communities just to the south and east of Interstate 85 may see some patchy black ice. Across far Northwest GA and the North GA mountains, as the cold front pushes in behind the storm system this evening, rain could change to light freezing rain, sleet or snow. Any accumulations are expected to be very light, however with temperatures falling into the 20s, some roads may become icy from winter precipitation or the refreezing of water on roadways previously mentioned. Persons in these areas should remain alert, monitor the latest conditions and be prepared patchy black ice through the early AM.
State offices will open two hours later tomorrow morning due to the potential for inclement weather and local Emergency Management offices in Walton County are staying prepared just in case there are some local problems.
“We have made some preps such as getting traction devices ready to install if needed,” Walton County Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Craig League said. “We have to be ready for anything all the time. We have logistics in place for all types of weather situations.”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp put out an alert Monday announcing the delayed start for all state offices.
“In consultation with the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, my office is postponing the opening of all state offices for two hours on Tuesday, February 16th due to potential inclement weather. I encourage all school systems to monitor the situation closely and make decisions on any potential closures in coordination with their local emergency management officials.”
Fortunately, at this time Walton County Schools are out for Winter break and don’t return until Thursday, Feb. 18. Gwinnett County Public Schools, however, are planning to return to on campus classes for those not on digital learning after the President’s Day holiday and at this time no changes due to weather have been announced.