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Tuesday, January 28, 2014 - 11:55am

Winter Weather Prompts Closures

The entire state is under a winter storm warning tonight into Wednesday morning.

Snow is falling in northern and central Georgia.

Sleet and freezing rain is expected in southern Georgia and along the coast.

Temperatures will remain below freezing into Wednesday afternoon.

Meteorologist Ryan Willis with the National Weather Service says roads will remain slick into tomorrow.

“We might get a little above freezing in some areas. But it will quickly drop back. It could be a couple of nights with icy spots on roadways.”

Willis says isolated power outages are possible in southern Georgia and along the coast if the majority of the precipitation is freezing rain.

That weights down power lines and trees.

“Freezing rain is actually liquid rain that is falling and it freezes upon contact with the surface or any object that it hits. So freezing rain typically is much more destructive to trees and power lines and that sort of thing cause it will weigh down all the infrastructure.”

On the roads, dangerous driving conditions exist throughout most of north and central Georgia.

Department of Transportation crews are active throughout affected areas.

Still, Georgia DOT is urging motorists to stay off of roads and highways.

“We are doing all we can to maintain mobility on literally hundreds of highways,” GDOT spokeswoman Natalie Dale says. “That effort is complicated in some areas by the heavy traffic of individuals trying to get home and the very large number of roadways experiencing issues.”

The Department is advising the public to refrain from all but absolutely necessary travel until midday Wednesday at the earliest.

Icing could extend as far south as Albany and Savannah.

In preparation for the storm, scores of public school systems will be closed, as will many private schools.

Many health clinics will be closed -- at least for the morning, when the worst of the weather is still expected to be around.

Hospitals are keeping their emergency rooms open while telling non-essential employees to stay at home.

Military bases will have restricted access.

Many regional bus services won't operate.

Here is a partial list of closures in the coastal-area for Wednesday the 29th, confirmed as of 3pm Tuesday 28th:

Public Schools: Beaufort County, Bryan County, Bulloch County, Camden County, Candler County, Chatham County, Effingham County, Glynn County, Jasper County, Jenkins County, Liberty County, Long County, McIntosh County, Screven County, Tattnall County, Toombs County, Wayne County

Private Schools: Benedictine Military, Calvary Day, St. Andrews, Savannah Country Day, Savannah Christian Prep

Colleges and Universities: Armstrong Atlatic State University, College of Coastal Georgia, East Georgia College, Georgia Southern University, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah State University, Savannah Technical College, South University (No AM Classes, PM Classes Meet), St. Leo University (No Day Classes, Evening Classes Meet)

Transportation: Chatham Area Transit and Coastal Regional Coaches have cancelled all service. Greyhound, Amtrak and Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport urge travelers to check posted schedules.

Military: Ft. Stewart, Hunter Army Airfield, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and the US Army Corps of Engineers are all operating with only essential personnel

Health: Coastal Health District is closed. SouthCoast Medical Group will open after 1pm. St. Joseph's / Candler Health System will keep its emergency rooms open, while canceling some clinics and classes. The Veterans Administration has closed the Savannah clinic. Winn Army Community Hospital will keep its emergency room open, while closing its clinics and pharmacy.

Other: There won't be City of Savannah trash pick-up on Wednesday. Glynn County trash pick-up will be delayed. All units of the Telfair Museums will be closed.