Hazardous driving conditions predicted
Atlanta, Ga. – Georgia DOT will begin pre-treating Interstates and major state routes in north Georgia and metro Atlanta midnight on Tuesday in preparation for a hazardous winter storm warning expected to move into those areas by 10 am Wednesday through 10 am Thursday. Some National Weather Service models show the storm could possibly include a significant amount of snow, as well as the formation of dangerous black ice.
Georgia DOT asks motorists to limit driving to emergencies or essential travel only. Be patient. Be mindful. Be careful.
“Keeping the roads safe for emergency vehicles is our first priority. We will plow the two right lanes of Interstates first; then the state routes,” said Georgia DOT Maintenance Engineer Dale Brantley. “This is a large, fast-moving storm and we expect a considerable amount of snow – some models show four to six inches in North Georgia and up to two inches in metro Atlanta.”
GDOT is pulling crews from non-affected southern districts to work 12-hour shifts. They will spread brine on Interstates 285, 85, 75, 20, 575, 675 and GA 400. All interstate lanes will be pre-treated.
“While GDOT has all hands on deck, a storm of this magnitude will take time to clear,” Brantley said. “We’re asking the public to limit driving as much as possible – for their safety and to enable us to do our jobs in clearing the roads.”
In response to the winter storm warning declared for 50 counties in the northern portion of Georgia tomorrow, Gov. Nathan Deal this evening ordered state government offices in the affected areas to close at noon tomorrow and declared a state of emergency for disaster preparedness starting at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
GDOT, GEMA, GSP and other state agencies will mobilize at GEMA headquarters at 4 am on Wednesday to monitor weather conditions and manage the deployment of crews in coordination with local Georgia DOT districts.
During hazardous winter weather conditions:
- Call 511 to report icy conditions on interstates and state routes;
- If possible, postpone travel until daylight hours when road conditions such as black ice are more visible;
- Do not pass a Georgia DOT dump truck spreading the salt/gravel mixture, as gravel may kick up and could break car windshields—follow at least 100 feet behind Department vehicles;
· Be aware of Georgia DOT crews working to clear the snow and ice from interstates and state routes;
· SLOW DOWN at least half your normal speed and use a low gear as you drive;
· Treat a non-working traffic signal as a four-way stop; and
· Beware of black ice (especially on bridges) and watch for fallen trees or power lines
See GDOT updates on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/GeorgiaDOT and Twitter at www.twitter.com/GADeptofTrans. Citizens can also access roadway conditions at the Department’s winter weather web site:www.dot.ga.gov/winterweather.