(Franklin) — The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for much of north and central Georgia beginning Tuesday evening and lasting through Thursday morning.
In preparation for the potentially severe weather, Governor Nathan Deal issued a press release last night detailing state plans ahead of the potential winter storm. Deal today put emergency response agencies on alert and began significant preparations.
“I have directed the State Patrol, Department of Transportation and Department of Natural Resources to begin moving assets toward areas where the snow and ice are expected, and I have issued a ‘warning order’ for the National Guard — an advance notice to personnel of the possibility of a ‘call up’ for a state mission,” said Deal.
“At the moment, local meteorologists are advising us to expect a ‘major storm’ that could bring significant levels of snow and ice. We have passed along this latest weather information to school superintendents and local emergency management agencies.”
Monday morning, Deal will convene the Operations Command, which will consist of the directors of GEMA, DOT, State Patrol, and Natural Resources, as well the commissioners for the Department of Public Health and the Department of Community Health and representatives from Georgia Power and the EMCs.
“We’ve included health officials and power companies in our preparations because heavy downfalls of ice can knock out power supply,” Deal said. “I want to make sure we’re reaching out to health care facilities so they can have backup plans in place.”
Deal will activate the State Operations Center at 3 p.m. Monday and it will operate until the emergency response ends.
“I encourage all Georgians in affected areas to make the necessary preparations tonight and tomorrow – including plans to be off the road by early evening so that DOT crews can begin pretreating the roads,” Deal said.
“From early afternoon on, please stay off the roads if at all possible so that we limit traffic and make way for workers to treat the highways. We also ask that tractor trailers to seek alternative routes outside the Perimeter. I further ask that everyone closely monitor the storm coverage for any changes in the predictions.”
Stay tuned to HeardCitizen.com and The Heard Citizen facebook page for any breaking local news on weather, school closings, travel problems, or power outages.
Winter Storm Watch for Heard, GA
*WINTER STORM WATCH NOW IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY EVENING THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING…
* LOCATIONS… NORTH AND MUCH OF CENTRAL GEORGIA… ALONG AND NORTH OF A LINE FROM HAMILTON… TO WARNER ROBINS… TO LOUISVILLE.
* HAZARD TYPES… A MIX OF FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET WITH FREEZING RAIN BEING THE PREDOMINANT PRECIPITATION TYPE.
* ACCUMULATIONS… A QUARTER TO POSSIBLY A HALF INCH OF ICE… WITH A TRACE OF SNOW.
* TIMING… BEGINNING TUESDAY EVENING ACROSS NORTH GEORGIA AND THEN SPREADING INTO CENTRAL GEORGIA AFTER MIDNIGHT TUESDAY NIGHT. FREEZING RAIN WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THE DAY ON WEDNESDAY… OCCASIONALLY CHANGING OVER TO RAIN BEFORE ENDING AS A PERIOD OF LIGHT SNOW EARLY THURSDAY MORNING.
* IMPACTS… ICE THAT ACCUMULATES ON ROADS… BRIDGES AND OVERPASSES WILL MAKE TRAVEL TREACHEROUS OR IMPOSSIBLE. ICE THAT ACCUMULATES ON TREES AND POWERLINES COULD BRING DOWN LARGE TREE LIMBS AND CAUSE POWER OUTAGES.
* WINDS… NORTHEAST 10 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 25 MPH.
* TEMPERATURES… IN THE LOWER TO MID 30S.
* UNCERTAINTY… THERE IS STILL SOME UNCERTAINTY IN THE FORECAST FOR WEDNESDAY INTO THURSDAY BUT CONFIDENCE IS INCREASING IN THE POTENTIAL FOR A SIGNIFICANT WINTER STORM. FOLKS ACROSS NORTH AND CENTRAL GEORGIA SHOULD MONITOR THIS SITUATION CLOSELY IN THE EVENT THAT THE WATCH IS UPGRADED TO AN ADVISORY OR WARNING.
A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SNOW… SLEET… OR ICE ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL. CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS. NOW IS THE TIME TO PREPARE FOR THIS WINTER STORM. BE SURE TO BUY NON-PERISHABLE FOODS. MAKE CONTINGENCY PLANS IF YOU PLAN ON TRAVELING DURING THIS PERIOD. IF YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR TRAVEL PLANS… DO SO BEFORE THE EVENT STARTS. NOW IS THE TIME TO PLAN. DO NOT WAIT FOR THE WARNING!