ATLANTA – Warmer temperatures began to thaw out areas in north Georgia on Thursday after a another round of winter weather.
Sleet and snow began falling in many parts of the metro Atlanta area around 2 p.m. and fell for several hours Wednesday. By late night, the snow had turn to rain or sleet in most areas, but potential icy roads remained a concern.
SNOW CREATES PROBLEMS ON THE ROAD
Georgia Department of Transportation crews began spreading brine materials on roads early Wednesday.
According to the governor's office, Georgia State Patrol deployed 174 troopers for rapid response to accidents, and mandated that all tractor trailers pull in to weigh stations to assure that trucks have the proper equipment for travel in snow/ice conditions. The Department of Natural Resources placed 15 strike teams across the 50 counties to aid in storm response and debris removal.
Still, the wintry weather was blamed for many accidents on the roads Wednesday.
Hazardous conditions were reported on Interstate 75 through Cherokee and Bartow counties. Travelers saw major delays on I-75 between Cartersville and Acworth due to wrecks and icy conditions.
By late night, few decided to brave the elements in Acworth, where a couple of inches of snow covered the ground and made slick roads.
In Floyd County, a thick, heavy snow fell beginning at 3 p.m. At least 25 accidents were reported in the first hours after the snow began to fall. There didn't seem to be any serious injuries in those accidents. By 10 p.m. at least 3 inches had fallen.
11Alive's Catie Beck reported that conditions were improving in Gainesville, Ga., late Wednesday. The snow had changed over to a freezing rain.
Over in Cherokee County, rain began to wash away some of the snow late in the evening, but there were fears that some of that slush could freeze overnight. Cherokee County authorities said they responded to at least 45 accidents throughout the night.
The snow piled up in Union City, where it fell uninterrupted for several hours. The snow remained on cars, bushes and some roads as the night wore on.
In Atlanta, snow and ice weren't issues; instead, it was rain -- at times heavy -- that posed problems for drivers.
Thursday morning, slick roads were blamed for several accidents around the metro area.
Over at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, officials reported that all runways and taxiways were clear and fully operational at 8 p.m. All roadways leading to and from the airport were reportedly free of ice.
The Federal Aviation Administration did say that there were weather delays. By 10 p.m, delays were averaging around 15 minutes -- well down from earlier delays of more than an hour.
For the day, Delta cancelled 450 flights – 25 percent of its scheduled 1,800 daily schedule at the Atlanta airport.
At Southwest, 31 flights had been cancelled -- almost 25 percent of the carrier's daily Hartsfield-Jackson schedule.
The carriers say they have contacted passengers about the cancellations and delta adds that it has suspended change fees for affected passengers.
Travelers are urged to contact specific airline or check out the websites for further information.
Click here to check the latest traffic conditions: 11Alive.com/Traffic
A number of school districts announced closings for Thursday as the snow continued to fall.
For the latest list of school closings, click here: http://11alive.com/closings/
GEMA MONITORS WINTER WEATHER STATEWIDE
Georgia Emergency Management Agency officials held a briefing to discuss the storm on Wednesday afternoon. GEMA Director Jim Butterworth said so far, response efforts had gone well, but said dangers still remained as darkness fell.
Gov. Nathan Deal ordered state offices to close at noon on Wednesday and declared a state of emergency for disaster preparedness to begin at 2 p.m.
WINTER WEATHER VEHICLE EMERGENCY SUPPLY LIST
If you must leave the house in the winter weather, be prepared. Before you hit the roadways, make sure you're vehicle is prepared for the worst.
There are 5 things you want in your vehicle:
1. Ice scraper
2. First aid kit
4. Bag with extra clothes and snacks
5. Kitty litter/De-icer
Georgia Power customers | Check for outages
Georgia EMC customers | Check for outages
You can find the nearest warming shelter on your smartphone. Text the word "shelter" along with your zip code to 43362 and you will receive a text back telling you where the nearest shelter is located.
The Old Adamsville Recreation Center in Atlanta will remain open until further notice as an emergency overflow shelter for those in need. Capacity limitations at Old Adamsville allows for 100 individuals (men, women, and children), to occupy the facility from 5 p.m. – 10 a.m. The address at Old Adamsville Emergency Shelter is 3404 Delmar Lane, Atlanta, GA 30331. For more information, please contact the Office of Constituent Services at 404-330-6023.
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