Winter storm creating dangerous driving conditions throughout GA - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Winter storm creating dangerous driving conditions throughout GA

Posted: Updated:
CEMA is readying for worsening road conditions. CEMA is readying for worsening road conditions.
CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

As temperatures drop and weather has gotten worse, driving conditions are worsening throughout most of north and central Georgia.

Department of Transportation crews are active throughout areas affect but Georgia DOT is urging motorists to stay off of highways as road and driving conditions will continue to deteriorate as the day goes on and into the night.

"We are doing all we can to manage the worsening highway conditions," said spokeswoman Natalie Dale in a statement.  "That effort is complicated in some areas by the heavy traffic of individuals trying to get home and the very large number of roadways experiencing issues.  We ask people to please stay home and when they get there not drive unless it is necessitated by an emergency." 

In Chatham County, Chatham Emergency Management Agency is advising residents that severe winter weather will be reaching the area as early as Tuesday evening. The Winter Storm Warning from the National Weather Service remains in effect for Chatham County until 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Road conditions in Chatham County will be dangerous, and CEMA is advising motorists to avoid bridges if possible. No advanced plans have been made to close any bridges or roadways, according to an update at 3:27 p.m. from CEMA.

Residents can also report icy conditions to the CEMA office at 912.201.4500 or 311 if in the City of Savannah.

Chatham County offices will be closed Wednesday except for personnel directly related to ice or snow response. Chatham Area Transit is suspending service on all fixed routes, paratransit services and ferry service at 6:30 pm Tuesday and all services for Wednesday.  Service will resume Thursday. 

Georgia DOT is advising the public to stay off of the roads except for extreme cases until midday Wednesday at the earliest. If you must be on the roads, please be cautious and patient.

If you are driving in winter conditions, DOT advices drivers to slow down considerably, allow extra distance between your vehicle and others, maintain a steady speed, avoid lane changing and sudden acceleration and braking and never pass a Georgia DOT, contractor or local government truck treating the road.

Also, motorists are advised to avoid any driving after dark as black ice that will form on streets, roads and highways will be virtually impossible to detect at night.

Moisture from the southwest of the state is combining with cold temperatures from the northwest part of the state to create snow, sleet and freezing rain.

The only roads officially closed at this time are the customary winter weather closings of State Route 180 Spur in Towns County and a portion of State Route 348 in While County. 

According to GDOT, numerous roads throughout the state currently are temporarily unpassable, including Interstate Highway 75/85 (The Atlanta Downtown Connector) southbound at Langford Parkway, numerous Interstate 75 entrance and exit ramps in Cobb County, Interstate Highway 75 southbound in north Fulton County near West Paces Ferry Road, and north and southbound I-75 in Bartow County at State Route 20, Interstate Highway 575 northbound in Cherokee County at Cumming Highway, State Route 16 at the Spalding/Coweta counties line; State Route 141 north and southbound in Gwinnett County, State Route 9 north and southbound in Forsyth County, State Route 12 eastbound in Haralson County, State Route 61 in Carroll County, State Route 28 in Richmond County, State Route 36 near Nelson Drive in Upson County, State Route 156 east and west bound in Gordon County, portions of State Routes 14, 38 and 92 in Fulton County and Langford Parkway/State Route 166 in south Atlanta.  Crews are working at all locations.

Ice is reported on numerous roads and highways.

Metro Atlanta icing have been reported on:

  • · Interstate Highway 285 interchange at State Route 417 in DeKalb County;
  • · State Route 13 in DeKalb;
  • · State Route 3 in Fulton County;
  • · State Route 41 in Cobb County; and
  • · Interstate Highways 85 and 20 in Douglas County

In central and west central Georgia; GA DOT crews report icing conditions on the following roadways:

  • Interstate Highway 85 and I-185 in Troup and Harris counties;
  • Interstate Highway 85 in Coweta County;
  • Interstate Highway 75 and State Route 42 in Henry County;
  • State Route 92 in Paulding County;
  • State Routes 100 and 120 in Haralson County; and
  • State Routes 1, 22 and 219 in Troup.

Northwest Georgia Department crews worked or are working to clear snow or ice on:

  • Interstate Highway 75 in Bartow and Dade counties;
  • Interstate Highway 59 in Dade;
  • Interstate Highway 575 State Route 140 in Cherokee County;
  • State Routes 156 and 53 in Gordon County;
  • U.S. 411 and State Routes 1 and 101 in Floyd County;
  • State Route1 in Chattooga County;
  • State Routes 136, 157, 58, 299 and 301 in Dade;
  • State Routes 3, 20, and 113 in Bartow; and
  • State Route 157 in Walker County.  

In east central Georgia, crews are treating:

  • Interstate Highway 20 from Rockdale County to Taliaferro County;
  • All I-20 elevated structures;
  • The I-20/State Route 22 interchange in Taliaferro; and
  • State Route 77 in Greene County.

In northeast Georgia, these roads are being treated:

  • State Route 400 ramps to State Route 141 in Forsyth County;
  • State Routes 9 and 60 in Lumpkin County;
  • State Routes 17 and 105 in Habersham County;
  • State Route 115 in White County;
  • Multiple roads in Union and Towns counties.

The Department will issue periodic media advisories as warranted; in addition, representatives will be available at the locations and via the phone numbers listed below throughout the weather event:   

The Special Operations Center (SOC):  Located at the Transportation Management Center (TMC) will activate at Noon, Tuesday.  Media should call Karlene Barron or Natalie Dale at 404.635.2490 and 2491 for updates.

 (Note - This is the Department's statewide command center and the clearinghouse for real-time conditions; it is your best source for current status of roadways.)

Cheshire Bridge Road (Metro Atlanta) Maintenance Facility:  Contact Mark McKinnon at 404.326.6672.

District One (Northeast Georgia) Gainesville Headquarters:   Contact Teri Pope at 404.274.6436.

District Two (East Central Georgia) Tennille Headquarters:  Contact Cissy McNure at 478.232.3331

District Three (West Central Georgia) Thomaston Headquarters:  Contact Kimberly Larson at 706.741.3439.

District Four (South and Southwest Georgia) Tifton Headquarters:  Contact Nita Birmingham 229.326.5435.

District Five (Southeast and Coastal Georgia) Savannah Area Office:  Contact Jill Nagel at 912.424.6643.

District Six (Northwest Georgia) Cartersville Headquarters:  Contact Mohamed Arafa at 770.359.9523.

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