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Cold temps will keep snow, ice around
DOT says main roads mostly passable but motorists advised to use caution
Two youth race up a hill at City Park in Gainesville while looking for places to sled on the icy snow. - photo by SCOTT ROGERS/Gainesville Times

A cloudy, cold day will keep much of the snow and ice that fell Friday from melting very much during the day Saturday in North Georgia.

Today’s forecast from the National Weather Service calls for mostly cloud skies and highs struggling to get above freezing to the mid-30s. Thus, the glazing of snow and ice that fell Friday afternoon and into the evening is likely to remain on trees, grassy areas and parking lots.

The winter storm warning and wind advisory remain in effect until 7 p.m. Saturday. More than a dozen North Georgia counties are under a state of emergency.

Roads in Forsyth County remain fairly clear, though icy patches are possible on overpasses or side streets and on hilly or shady ideas. 

Annalysce Baker with the Georgia Department of Transportation reports the majority of roads are passable in Northeast Georgia. GDOT crews are focusing on bridges and overpasses and roads in Rabun County, which was hit hardest by the storm.

“We are treating the roads with salt and gravel as needed,” Baker said in an email.

“Our priorities are to keep our interstates and multilane state routes passable especially for emergency vehicles. If motorists see a GDOT truck spreading gravel and salt, please give the GDOT truck enough room to work.”

Officials ask motorists to avoid getting out if possible. Those who do venture out should be extremely cautious and take their time, allowing ample room between themselves and the car ahead of them. A nonworking traffic signal should be treated as an all-way stop.  

Drivers also are asked to call 511 to report icy conditions on the interstates and state routes.

Temperatures will drop back below freezing after dark with lows in the lower 20s overnight. Sunday’s high’s in the upper 40s should take care of most of the snow.

Snow and ice totals were higher north of Forsyth County in the Georgia mountains, up to 8  inches in some areas. Meteorologist Carly Kovacik says Rabun County received much of the snow in the far north area of the state Saturday. Kovacik says the winter storm warning will expire at 7 p.m.

After the warning expires, Kovacik expects some lingering slick spots and winds to subside.

Metro Atlanta experienced some snowfall Saturday morning, but Kovacik says nothing more than an inch. Kovacik says the chance of snow will greatly diminish in the metro area Saturday afternoon, but minor flooding could occur.

Georgia Power spokesman John Kraft says at least 4,200 customers are without power throughout Georgia, with many of those affected in Northeast Georgia and metro Atlanta. The metro area had 2,600 outages while the northeast part of the state had 1,500 customers without power.

Since the storm began early Friday, Kraft says Georgia power crews have restored power to more than 66,000 customers statewide. Many outages were caused by high winds that knocked trees down and into electrical lines.

Warmer air is expected in by Monday and Tuesday, with highs in the lower 50s and a chance of rain returning by Monday night.