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Monday, January 10, 2011 - 12:20pm

Icy Roads The Worry For Overnight

Forecasters say there’s still plenty of concern with this winter storm for Monday overnight into Tuesday morning. While snowfall has tapered-off across much of north and middle Georgia, the worry is for freezing rain to cause problems.

Robert Garcia with the National Weather Service says there’s a freezing rain advisory for north and north-central Georgia until 1am tomorrow morning.

"We're expecting it to continue through the night, and hopefully start tapering-off tomorrow morning. We're looking at some light accumulations from that freezing drizzle, freezing rain through the night."

Garcia says temperatures for the region won’t get much above freezing until Wednesday.

As for snowfall amounts from this storm, Garcia says unofficial totals show areas of the north Georgia mountains got up to 7-8 inches, with a report of 9 inches snowfall in Fannin County. Metro Atlanta got on average 4-6 inches.

Meanwhile, icy roads across Georgia have snarled highways with traffic accidents and shutting down rural highways in the northern and central parts of the state.

The Georgia Department of Transportation says crashes involving tractor trailers are slowing traffic on northbound Interstate 85 in Fulton County and westbound I-20 in Rockdale County east of Atlanta.

DOT spokeswoman Karlene Baron says snow and ice in northern Georgia have made portions of state highways 180 and 348 impassable in Union, Towns and White counties.

The winter weather in middle Georgia has shut down parts of state highways 22, 49 and 87 in Baldwin, Bleckley and Wilkinson counties. Icy conditions have also closed portions of Georgia highway 54 in Fayette County and highway 96 in Peach County.

On Monday, there were dozens of school closings along with some university closings. As of mid afternoon, there were already some closings announced for Tuesday: school systems in Cherokee, Fulton, Forsyth, Newton, Bartow and Carroll counties.

Concerning power outages, utility crews with Georgia Power were working to restore electricity to about 6,500 customers across the state by mid-afternoon Monday. Outages are being reported in Dublin, Hawkinsville, Savannah, Statesboro, and Waynesboro. Ice is forming on trees and power lines as the snow turns to sleet and icy rain in many areas. They say more outages could be on the way.

AirTran Airways has canceled all Monday flights in and out of Hartsfield Airport. Delta had canceled 1450 flights by early Monday afternoon. The airline was asking passengers to rebook their flights.

In Macon city officials have told their employees to stay home. State and Superior Court judges are telling people to not show up for jury duty. The Georgia State Supreme Court is also closed today. Streets are all but deserted as people heed the advice of emergency officials. The storm arrived Sunday night and quickly created treacherous driving conditions.


Associated Press

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