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Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 10:23am

Road Crews Prep For Ice, Snow

More rain is moving into Georgia Thursday afternoon and evening just as a blast of cold air arrives, too. The falling temperatures will turn those showers into snow and freezing rain throughout north Georgia.

State Department of Transportation crews are ready with the de-icing equipment for what’s expected to be a long night from metro Atlanta northward. Forecasters and G-DOT are most worried about icy roads and tress that topple from the winds and extra weight of freezing rain.

Spokeswoman Jill Goldberg says G-DOT crews will try a new de-icing tactic: a saltwater brine sprayed through some homemade spreaders.

“We manufactured those in-house with basically spare parts from around the state,” Goldberg said. “One of our crews was able to come up with a design and figure out how we could make them, and we’ve successfully done that, so we’re going to be trying those out.”

Crews will also use the traditional mix of salt and gravel to clear roads.

Meteorologists said one to three inches of snow will fall in the northernmost counties, but freezing temperatures will extend to central Georgia, so drivers could hit black ice anywhere in the northern half of the state.

Goldberg said crews have a clear approach to keeping roads free of ice.

“We will concentrate on interstates first -- that’s our first priority, we’ll try to keep two lanes on the interstate – then we’ll move to the most-traveled state routes, and after that, we’ll continue on to the less-traveled routes,” she said.

In a Thursday afternoon winter weather briefing, Vaughn Smith with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City said the weather will calm down after the overnight ice and snow.

“Once this winter-weather scenario is over, we are not expecting any more precipitation through the weekend and into early next week,” Smith said. “We are looking at a very cold Arctic Ridge building into the region and bringing a cold air mass into the area. Temperatures Tuesday morning are expected to get down into the 20s and lower 30s.”