In a press conference Wednesday morning at the Georgia Capitol, state transportation officials said they will begin salting about 21,000 miles of roads and highways ahead of winter weather expected today and Friday.
Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurray said all state roads and Interstates north of a line from Columbus to Macon and Augusta will be treated.
He asked motorists to watch out for salting crews and stay off the roads beginning with the expected rain and cold on Thursday evening.
“And certainly on Friday morning, we ask that you not get out,” he said. “If you see a roadway that looks wet on Friday morning or Friday, assume that it is frozen.”
Gov. Brian Kemp announced a state of emergency to help secure resources, especially propane for heating homes and chicken houses.
The state actions announced came as Georgia prepared for its coldest weather in years.
Extreme cold may disrupt travel
The National Weather Service (NWS) said a “strong arctic high pressure system,” was sweeping down from Canada and will march into the Great Plains, the Midwest and on to the Southeast Thursday and Friday, bringing life-threatening conditions across 17 states.
In Georgia, no blizzards are expected, but any leftover precipitation from the storm system could lead to black ice on roads. Low temperatures are forecasted to be between 5 and 20 degrees across most of the state with some wind chill factors at zero or below.
Dave Hennen, senior executive producer of CNN Weather and meteorologist spoke with GPB’s Peter Biello about possible travel impacts.
“We could see some minor [airport] delays in Atlanta because of the winds,” Hennen said. “But if you have Midwestern plans — if you’re flying to Chicago or have a connection through Chicago, especially Thursday into Friday, maybe early Saturday — there could be some cancellations.”
Resources for keeping your family and community safe, especially vulnerable populations
- Visit GPB.org.storms for the latest weather stories and alerts from Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security
- A storm can occur when family members are in different places, so develop a family communications plan.
- Make a ready kit for at least three days of self-sufficiency.
- Several state parks will host warming stations through Dec. 26. Click here for a map of locations and details.
This story comes to Reporter/Intown through a reporting partnership with GPB News, a non-profit newsroom covering the state of Georgia.