ATLANTA — It is raining in Atlanta, but the news media and government officials and riling up the public by closing schools and urging businesses to close their doors early today.
Ahead of a second winter storm this week, Gov. Nathan Deal issued a new state of emergency for 21 counties beginning Thursday evening and lasting through Sunday, Jan. 24, at midnight.
The emergency declaration extends to 21 counties under a winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service. They include Banks, Catoosa, Dade, Dawson, Fannin, Franklin, Gilmer, Gordon, Habersham, Hall, Hart, Lumpkin, Murray, Pickens, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union, Walker, White and Whitfield Counties. Deal continues to monitor an additional 24 counties, including those in metro Atlanta, under a winter storm advisory.
“In order to prepare for the second round of storms, I’ve directed state agency heads to encourage employees to telecommute where appropriate,” Deal said. “Capitol Hill agencies and other state government offices will close at 12:00 p.m. on Friday to allow time for roads and bridges to be treated in advance of possible freezing rain and snow. I encourage municipal governments and private businesses in metro Atlanta and other affected areas to follow suit. I will continue to monitor those counties under a winter storm advisory and revise my executive order as needed.”
The National Weather Service has issued the advisory for Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Chattooga, Cherokee, Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Elbert, Floyd, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Haralson, Jackson, Madison, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Paulding, Polk, Rockdale and Walton Counties.
GEMA/HS and Emergency Operations Command will continue coordinating response efforts between the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Natural Resources.