(Franklin) — Heard County students were able to enjoy the day off from school and a rare winter treat in the form of the significant snowfall of 2014 Tuesday afternoon around the West Georgia area.
However, for many adults, the icy road conditions made travel nearly impossible as conditions quickly deteriorated making roadways treacherous in many areas.
Snow moved into the area late Tuesday morning and by late afternoon many local areas were reporting up to four inches of the white stuff.
As of 5:30 p.m. this afternoon, the Georgia State Patrol was reporting at least 134 crashes in the West Georgia area since 10:00 a.m. with 26 injuries as motorists attempted to make their way home.
In other areas, reports were coming in late Tuesday evening of school children being stranded at several schools in Georgia and Alabama.
Karoline Johnson of Centralhatchee enjoys her first snow Tuesday afternoon on her Minnie Mouse 4-wheeler
Heard County school superintendent made the proactive call early Tuesday to go ahead cancel Heard County schools for a second consecutive day Wednesday.
Most other government agencies closed early today and will remain shut down on Wednesday excluding emergency personnel who will remain on duty.
Heard County Commission Chairman Lee Boone stated in a phone interview Tuesday evening that this may very well turn into a 2-3 day event.
“We don’t think we have seen all of the snowfall yet and with temperatures unlikely to go very far above freezing on Wednesday, we will likely not be able to open our government offices and courthouse until Thursday or possibly even Friday,” said Boone, adding that he would not make any official decisions on Thursday until tomorrow afternoon.
Boone stated that the county’s road department will be out tomorrow trying to clear as many county roadways as possible. “We will have our two road graders working in tandem tomorrow,” said Boone. “Our first priority will be our most heavily traveled roads.”
The Heard County Code Red Emergency Notification System sent out a warning at around 2:30 p.m. today that all Heard County roads were closed and impassable.
Most local businesses in the area also closed down early Tuesday afternoon in order to allow employees to get home safely. The Piggly Wiggly closed its doors around 4:00 p.m. as did most other restaurants with the exception of a few convenience stores.
With icy conditions and temperatures expected to fall down into the teens tonight, motorists are urged to stay at home until marked improvement in the temperatures and conditions which may not break until Thursday afternoon when forecasts call for sunny skies and temperatures in the mid to upper 40’s.
Power outages remain a concern, but as of this time, Carroll EMC is reporting zero outages in the area.
On the more positive side of the storm, many children and adults alike enjoyed snowball fights, sledding, and other rare wintry activities Tuesday afternoon.
1-year-old Karoline Johnson enjoyed her first ever snow in Centralhatchee by riding around on her driveway in an estimated three inches of snow aboard her Minnie Mouse 4-wheeler.
Stay tuned to HeardCitizen.com for further information on Winter Storm 2014 as it breaks.