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Monday, February 10, 2014 - 7:14am

Georgia Governor Declares State Of Emergency For Winter Storm

Update (3:33 p.m.):
During a briefing Monday afternoon, Gov. Deal expanded the state of emergency from 31 to 45 north Georgia counties as the state expects a two-part winter storm.

“We are facing two different waves of bad weather. The first one will come in this evening. And it will be followed by a second wave that at this time appears to be more serious than the first,” said Deal.
Deal says the state’s emergency operations center will be open at 3 p.m. Monday afternoon, and Tuesday will include a liberal leave policy for state employees.

Georgia Power has crews coming in from neighboring states to help with any potential power outages.

During the conference, Atlanta’s Mayor Kasim Reed also briefed reporters on the city’s preparation for the severe weather.

Reed says emergency leaders from Atlanta met with the state emergency leaders, and the city will follow the state’s “liberal leave” policy.

The city of Atlanta's winter weather equipment will be ready to prepare the roads at 6.p.m Monday evening said Reed.

Motorists are being urged to stay off the roads Monday night so road crews can lay down salt and brine.

The Georgia National Guard has about 1400 vehicles around the state, and 200 people on call ready to help motorists who need assistance.
Governor Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency for 14 Georgia counties in preparation for an upcoming winter storm.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch stretching from north to middle Georgia. Forecasters say snow and ice accumulations are possible on roads.

The winter storm will come in two rounds. Monday night, the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for northeast Georgia, where the area could see one to three inches of snow. The rest of north Georgia could see an inch. The Atlanta area could see an inch of snow by Tuesday and possibly another inch or two and some ice by Thursday.

National Weather Service forecaster Jessica Fieux says there's still a lot of uncertainty with Monday night’s forecast, but Georgians should be prepared.

" Initially tonight into Tuesday, it looks like we're looking at a more rain-snow event, with maybe some sleet mixed in,” said Fieux. “And then Tuesday night into Wednesday, it's going to be more of a snow event in the mountains but then south of the mountains it could be snow and freezing rain."

Georgia Emergency Management officials are urging Georgians to prepare their homes and cars for the storm.

Gov. Deal plans to discuss preparations Monday afternoon during a 12 p.m. news conference.

During the conference, the governor also plans to provide updated information about when drivers need to be off the roads.

Deal is planning expanded use of the alert system as part of the state's revised storm response protocol.

Georgia Emergency Management Agency officials say they had access to an alert system that could have warned drivers and others of an approaching winter storm two weeks ago, but they weren't able to use it.

This week, Georgians are expecting to hear the results an internal review of how state government handled the last snow storm that crippled Atlanta two weeks ago.

Governor Nathan Deal ordered the review after gridlock shut down roads and left some in their cars for 18 hours or more.

The governor has also convened a 33-person task force that will make recommendations about state emergency management during severe weather.


Shauna Stuart