GDOT: Driving remains dangerous and unadvisable

Final bands of winter precipitation are expected to exit Georgia by noon, today, but the Georgia Department of Transportation warns driving remains dangerous and unadvisable.

"Snow and ice continued to fall overnight and into this morning," Georgia DOT Communications Director Karlene Barron notes, "and all along the Interstate Highway 20 corridor from roughly Madison to Augusta, numerous limbs and trees have fallen across roads and power lines.  Dozens of crews are working to clear the debris in this area but the public absolutely needs to stay home if at all possible until the roads are cleared, plowed and treated for ice."

Temperatures are expected to climb above freezing by midday throughout most of the state and the sun may even make periodic appearances this afternoon.  Georgia DOT crews – now working through an eighth 12-hour shift – have managed to keep the Interstate Highway System and major state routes passable through the storm and will take advantage of today's moderating conditions to again plow and retreat those and other roadways.  Department Chief Engineer Russell McMurry says emergency acquisitions of additional salt from other states provides adequate materials to continue retreatments; Metro Atlanta interstates, for example, have received four treatments already with two more likely today.

Tonight, however, temperatures will again fall well below freezing and any moisture remaining on roadways will refreeze and the creation of black ice likely will be prevalent throughout most of central and north Georgia.  Thus, the Department continues to encourage the public to refrain from all but absolute emergency travelling until midday Friday when temperatures are expected to reach 50 degrees.

"We are so appreciative of the patience and cooperation Georgians have shown by staying off the roadways and allowing our wonderful, tireless and hard-working men and women to do their jobs," Barron says.  "If people can just bear with us one more day, we think some level of normalcy on most roadways will be possible by Friday afternoon."