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Warmer, but still winter
Beware ice on roads, ponds
icy main street 1-11-jd
A woman escaped injury Monday when she lost control of a van on icy Main Street in downtown Cumming. Authorities cited the woman for driving without a license. - photo by Jim Dean
While there were no fatal incidents reported over the frigid weekend, local public safety officials are cautioning residents about dangers brought on by the wintry weather.

Snow and sleet hit Forsyth County late Thursday afternoon, coating roads and other surfaces with a slick layer of ice.

Local schools closed early Thursday and students didn’t return to class until Monday.

With temperatures failing to rise above freezing, authorities responded throughout the weekend to reports of vehicles sliding off roads and into other vehicles and structures.

There also were numerous reports of bursting water pipes and injuries caused by slipping and falling on ice.

Fire Capt. Jason Shivers said he found 14 children Friday playing on a frozen pond in the Evans Farms neighborhood near the Ducktown community in western Forsyth.

He got the children off the surface safely, but the incident left him concerned.

“In Georgia it never gets cold enough long enough to venture out on frozen bodies of water,” he said.

“It may look frozen, it may even support the weight of a rock or a brick that’s thrown onto it, but it will likely not support the weight of a human body.”

Shivers noted that two Gwinnett County teenagers drowned Saturday when they fell through an ice-covered pond.

He said stepping on frozen water isn’t just unsafe, it’s “a tragedy waiting to happen.”

“The ice here is only a few inches thick at best,” he said, adding that temperatures in Georgia don’t stay below freezing long enough to create a safe surface.

Forsyth County Sheriff’s Capt. Frank Huggins said there’s still ice along shady areas of some local roads, but overall, “things are getting back to normal.”

“We still urge people to drive with caution because of patches of ice until this cold weather moves out,” Huggins said.

According to the National Weather Service, today should be sunny with a high temperature of about 49 degrees and a low tonight of 26.

The weather Thursday and Friday is expected to warm into the low 50s, though it appears high temperatures will drop down to the low 40s Saturday and Sunday.