CALHOUN, Ga. -- North Georgia EMC has sent its second shift home for the night, telling them to rest up in case that ice storm does leave its mark on Friday.
The concern is that ice and heavy winds will knock down trees, damaging power lines. The utility system has been proactive, trimming trees and maintaining other vegetation around its 7,000 miles of power lines but if lines fall, it is asking residents to call 911.
The Department of Transportation is also hoping prevention pays off. It has pre-treated several bridges in the northern part of the state as well as a stretch along Interstate 75 from Bartow to Cobb County. DOT spokesman Mark McKinnon says it's a great opportunity to test its new salt brine solution.
"So we can go ahead and test and see how it's going to stay on the roadway. What happens when it dries? Is it still working well? So there's still a lot of questions we have with this mixture," said McKinnon.
After the crippling ice storm two years ago, the DOT has been asking states more accustomed to dealing with ice for advice. The brine was one of those solutions.
It only costs about nine cents a gallon, far less than the $2.35 a gallon for the de-icing solution the DOT must use after ice starts to form.
The DOT says it has more than 550 pieces of snow removal equipment, but has purchased several new pieces in the past two years including: 38 snowplows, 21 salt and gravel spreaders, 6 liquid de-icing units and equipment to retrofit all of its snow equipment to spread that new salt brine mixture.