Snow, icy roads lead to crashes, cancellations, delay


ADVISORIES, WATCHES AND WARNINGS: What do the designations mean?

As snow continues to fall on North Georgia and low temps remain, the number of spin-out crashes continues to increase.

growing list of schools and local governments have already announced closings for Wednesday, and the governor declared a state of emergency for 83 counties amid arctic temperatures and harsh winter conditions.

It is 16 degrees — and dropping — in Atlanta. It feels like it is 0 degrees, Channel 2 Action News reported.

Jennifer Mahone uses her umbrella to scrape ice and snow off her car on Peachtree Street. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

Here’s how the day is unfolding:

8:21 a.m.: CobbLinc will not resume normal operations at 10 a.m. as originally planned.

Officials will monitor weather conditions to determine when they can safely resume operations, transit manager Andrea Foard said.

8:20 a.m.: All Mercer campuses and centers, excluding Savannah, will be closed today and classes are canceled, according to the school system. The Fresh Food Company in the Connell Student Center on the Macon campus will be operating normal hours.

8:18 a.m.: MARTA is now running on a modified weekend schedule, according to the agency.

8:16 a.m.: Zoo Atlanta will be closed today, according to the business.

8:06 a.m.: There are now more than 250 flight delays and more than 190 cancellations at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, according to the airport.

8 a.m.: “There isn’t anywhere that is safe to drive at the moment,” Gwinnett police Sgt. Jake Smith said.

8 a.m.: DeKalb County government offices, libraries, facilities and courts will be closed today.

The DeKalb County Sanitation Division has also suspended all administrative and field operations today.

The Henry County Courthouse will be closed today, too.

7:52 a.m.: Stonecrest City Hall will be closed today, according to the city spokesman.

7:41 a.m.: Georgia Piedmont Technical College will be closed today due to weather conditions, according to the college.

7:36 a.m.: Treating side roads may take city and county agencies more time as they focus resources on larger roads, Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Natalie Dale told Channel 2 Action News.

“So if you can’t safely get out of your neighborhood, it’s best just to stay put,” she said.


Traffic builds on the Downtown Connector on a snowy Wednesday morning. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

7:33 a.m.: I-85 in Braselton continues to be one of the Georgia Department of Transportation’s trouble spots due to multiple accidents. “The roads are not good,” agency spokeswoman Natalie Dale told Channel 2 Action News. “They are not good to travel on. Not only are we dealing with ice issues, we are dealing with some very dry, powdery snow. Think of the difference between trying to plow dry dust, which is what we’re kind of doing, or trying to plow some wet, heavy sand, which is like the last winter storm we had in December. Much easier to plow that. This snow kicks up in the air, causing visibility problems in addition to icy patches under that snow. If you do not have to be on the road, this is not the time to gamble and get out on them.”

7:27 a.m.: All Atlanta University Center institutions, including Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and Spelman College, are closed, according to the schools.

7:13 a.m.: I-20 West is shut down due to severe icing at Almon Road (exit No. 88).

6:53 a.m.: Weather conditions have led to ongoing MARTA delays to bus and rail services, according to the agency.

6:52 a.m.: “Stay off the roads,” Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Natalie Dale told News 95.5 & AM 750 WSB. “We have our crews out, but there are some complexities to what we are dealing with.” Asked when to expect an all-clear today, she said, “I don’t expect to get an all-clear today.”


A thin layer of snow covers the Downtown Connector in Atlanta. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

6:45 a.m.: Cities of Conyers and Lilburn announced delayed openings set at noon today. Municipal Court has been canceled in Conyers.

6:34 a.m.: Icy conditions have about a dozen vehicles stuck on I-20 near Panola Road, Channel 2 reported.

6:31 a.m.: Cobb County closed government operations Wednesday because of the hazardous travel conditions on county roads, according to the county.

The CobbLinc bus service will delay its start today until 10 a.m.

6:29 a.m.: Officials announced closings at Emory University, Oxford College and Georgia State University today.

6:25 a.m.: There is a ground delay at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. There have also been nearly 100 cancellations and 115 delays at Hartsfield-Jackson.

6:23 a.m.: A crash has occurred involving a MARTA bus on I-285 South at Glenwood Road in DeKalb County. No other details have been released.

6:03 a.m.: There have been more than 30 crashes with ice reported throughout metro Atlanta, WSB 24-hour Traffic Center reporter Mark Arum said Wednesday.

5:53 a.m.: I-85 South is shutdown at Winder Highway in Jackson County.

5:52. a.m: There have been six crashes on I-85 between Gwinnett and Jackson counties this morning, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.

5:47 a.m.: Ice has westbound lanes of U.S. 78 shut down at Lake Lucerne. “Please stay off the roads,” the Traffic Center said.

5:25 a.m.: Several spots in Midtown picked up 1 inch of snow, Channel 2 reported. Snowfall amounts of 1.5 inches were reported in Marietta, Smyrna and Austell, and Douglasville picked up 1.75 inches in some areas.


Keisha Palmer is bundled up at 15th and Peachtree Street on a snowy Wednesday. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

5:15 a.m.: By noon Wednesday, the wind chill could make it feel like -5 degrees in Atlanta, Channel 2 meteorologist Karen Minton reported.

“Please bundle up and limit your time outdoors,” she said. “Keep pets inside today.”


The wind chill could make it feel like -5 degrees in Atlanta by noon Wednesday. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

5:13 a.m.: A wind chill advisory issued just after 3 a.m. is set to last through 1 p.m. for metro Atlanta and other parts of North Georgia, Channel 2 reported.

The wind is forecast to move at between 20 and 30 mph.

“It will make the temps feel like 10 above to 5 below zero,” Channel 2 meteorologist Karen Minton said.

5:02 a.m.: Snowfall is ending in the northwest Georgia mountains, but it will continue for the next four to five hours in other parts of the state, Channel 2 reported. An additional inch of snow is possible in many areas of Atlanta and southward with a few higher pockets.

5 a.m.: Pavement temperatures are in the mid- to low 20s, so “there will be a layer of ice under the snow on untreated roads,” Channel 2 meteorologist Brian Monahan said.

4:40 a.m.: “Snow will taper off later this morning, but temps stay cold which will cause icy road conditions,” Channel 2 meteorologist Karen Minton said. “Stay off the roads this morning.”

» For updated traffic information, listen to News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB and follow @ajcwsbtraffic on Twitter.





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