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Winter storm on the way, Deal declares state of emergency

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With the National Weather Service issuing a Winter Storm Watch for this evening (Feb. 10) through Thursday (Feb. 13), Gov. Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency for 45 Georgia counties: Dade, Walker, Catoosa, Whitfield, Chattooga, Gordon, Floyd, Bartow, Polk, Paulding, Cobb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Barrow, Haralson, Carroll, Douglas, DeKalb, Clarke, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Wilkes, Walton, Rabun, Habersham, Stephens, Franklin, Hart, Madison, Elbert, Lincoln, Murray, Fannin, Gilmer, Union, Towns, Pickens, Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Cherokee, Forsyth, Hall, Banks and Jackson counties.

 

Deal has activated the State Operations Center and moved first responders into place to operate until the emergency response ends. The governor is stepping up actions early to avoid problems like the ones experienced two weeks ago when snow and ice paralyzed Atlanta, creating traffic jams, accidents and chaos that many said was the result of Georgia being unprepared.    

 

“I have directed the State Patrol, Department of Transportation and Department of Natural Resources to begin moving assets toward areas where the snow and ice are expected, and I have issued a ‘warning order’ for the National Guard -- an advance notice to personnel of the possibility of a ‘call up’ for a state mission,” said Deal. “At the moment, local meteorologists are advising us to expect a ‘major storm’ that could bring significant levels of snow and ice. We have passed along this latest weather information to school superintendents and local emergency management agencies.”

 

“We’ve included health officials and power companies in our preparations because heavy downfalls of ice can knock out power supply,” Deal said. “I want to make sure we’re reaching out to health care facilities so they can have backup plans in place.”

 

Deal urged motorists to take precaution and get off the roads early to avoid traffic jams.  

 

“I encourage all Georgians in affected areas to make the necessary preparations tonight and tomorrow – including plans to be off the road by early evening so that DOT crews can begin pretreating the roads,” Deal said. “From early afternoon on, please stay off the roads if at all possible so that we limit traffic and make way for workers to treat the highways. We also ask that tractor trailers to seek alternative routes outside the Perimeter. I further ask that everyone closely monitor the storm coverage for any changes in the predictions.”

 

Atlanta Public Schools:

Schools and administrative offices are closed Tuesday, Feb. 11 and Wednesday, Feb. 12. Only essential personnel are expected to report to work.  

For updates, visit www.atlantapublicschools.us

 

City Of Atlanta:

Department of Parks and Recreation's after-school and athletic programs
closed Monday, Feb. 10, through Wednesday, Feb. 12.

 

DeKalb County Schools:

All after-school and extra-curricular activities canceled today (Monday).

Schools are closed Tuesday.

 

DeKalb County Government:

Administrative offices closed Tuesday, Feb. 11.
This includes Parks and Recreation facilities, senior centers, water billing
offices, Recorders Court and other administrative divisions.

The regularly scheduled business meeting of the DeKalb County Board of
Commissioners will be rescheduled to Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 at 9:00 a.m.

Public Safety and Public Works will continue 24-hour operation as long as
circumstances warrant.

There will be no Sanitation collection on Tuesday, Feb. 11

Rockdale County:

Rockdale County government offices are set to open Tuesday for normal
business hours.

For updates, Rockdale County employees and residents may call the Rockdale
County hotline at 770-278-7002.

Check back with On Common Ground News for updates. 

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