Deal Declares Emergency As Winter Weather Returns; Many Schools To Close Wednesday

This story and slideshow will be updated throughout the day.  

BREAKING 5:25 p.m. — Gov. Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency for all 159 counties in Georgia.  More to follow.  

A winter storm warning is in effect for Georgia.

Some areas will see freezing rain and sleet.  Metro Atlanta could get at least an inch of snow.

WABE’s John Lorinc spoke to Jason Deese, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Peachtree City.An interview with the National Weather Service.

Thousands of flights at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport have been affected by the forecast.  

Update 6:10 p.m. (with a minor update at 10:30 p.m.)

To summarize, here are the schools that we have confirmed will be closed on Wednesday:

  • Atlanta Public Schools
  • Cherokee County Schools
  • Clayton County Schools
  • Cobb County Schools
  • DeKalb County Schools
  • Douglas County Schools
  • Fayette County Schools
  • Fulton County Schools
  • Gwinnett County Schools
  • Kennesaw State University
  • Emory University
  • In other news, the city of Alpharetta reports that Walters Road and Milton Avenue between Roswell Street and Wills Road are both closed. An earlier accident closed the intersection at Webb Bridge Road and Lake Winward Drive.

Update 5:25 p.m.

BREAKING NEWS: Gov. Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency for all 159 counties in the state. State offices will not open Wednesday until noon. We are awaiting further information and will post it as soon as we get it.  

Update 4:30 p.m.

  • Fulton County:  Fulton County Schools say that the poor driving conditions are causing many bus delays this afternoon.  Parents are asked to be patient.  Parents can also go to the school to pick up their children.
  • Powder Springs:  the City of Powder Springs says city offices will be closed on Wednesday.

Update 4:10 p.m.

  • Atlanta Public Schools:  APS schools and administrative offices will be closed tomorrow. Only essential personnel are to report tomorrow.
  • Alliance Theater:  the Alliance informs us that tonight’s performance of “The Geller Girls” has been canceled.  Anyone with tickets is asked to contact the box office to exchange.
  • Fox Theater:  the Fox says that tonight’s performance of “The Book of Mormon” WILL GO ON despite the weather.  Anyone who has tickets but cannot attend can contact the Fox box office to exchange.
  • The Georgia DOT reports that the only road currently classified as temporarily unpassable is Interstate Highway 575 northbound in Cherokee County at Cumming Highway; also, only one right lane of eastbound State Route 92 at Londonderry Road is open.  Crews are working both locations.   

Update 2:20 p.m.

  • Atlanta:  Atlanta City Hall is now closed.
  • Atlanta Traffic:  Georgia Navigator indicates that almost all the interstates in the area are now moving very, very slowly.  We took a series of screen shots that tracks the snow storm across Atlanta by looking at the ever-worsening traffic.
  • Trevor Keller, a producer with WPBA Channel 30 (our sister TV station) tweeted a photo of his drive home in the storm. Trevor may not get home for a long time.

Update 1:50 p.m.

  • Georgia Gwinnett College:  GGC will close at 2:00 p.m.
  • Fulton County:  all Fulton County schools are closing at 1:45 p.m. (a change from earlier)

The Georgia DOT says that they are currently treating a number of icing issues in Atlanta:

  • 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; 
  • Interstate Highways 85 and 20 in Douglas County

Update 1:35 p.m.

  • Cobb County:  the Cobb County Commission has postponed all meetings scheduled for today.
  • City of College Park:  College Park is closing its city offices at 2:00 p.m. today.

Update 1:15 p.m.

  • DeKalb County:  all DeKalb Co. administrative offices will be closing at 2:00 p.m. today.
  • Agnes Scott College:  Agnes Scott will be closing at 2:00 p.m. today.
  • Atlanta Braves:  the Atlanta Braves Country Caravan fan event scheduled for today at Town Center at Cobb has been postponed “until further notice.”
  • We have added some pictures to the weather slideshow above of snow here at the studio and some images of the interstates from Georgia Navigator.

Update 12:40 p.m.

  • Morehouse, Spelman, Clark Atlanta:  all three schools will close at 1:00 p.m.; closing tomorrow TBA
  • Coweta County:  all Coweta County offices are closing at 1:00 p.m.
  • City of Atlanta:  all Atlanta parks and recreation centers will close at 1:00 p.m. this afternoon.

Update 12:30 p.m.

  • Emory University:  Emory will be closing at 1:00 p.m. this afternoon.
  • Georgia State University:  GSU will be closing at 1:00 p.m. this afternoon

Update 12:10 p.m.

  • Atlanta Public Schools:  APS had adjusted its dismissal plans and will dismiss middle schools at 1:30 p.m.; elementary and high school dismissals will be at their regular times
  • DeKalb County Schools:  DeKalb Schools have changed their plans and have decided to dismiss students early according to the following bus schedule: elementary schools closing at 1:30 p.m.; high schools closing at 2:30 p.m.; middle schools closing at 3:15 p.m.; parents can pick up children at any time.
  • University of Georgia:  UGA Athens has decided to close at 3:30 p.m.  A decision about whether or when to open Wednesday will be made no later than 6:30 a.m. tomorrow morning.
  • Atlanta University Center:  currently open; a joint decision about closing Morehouse, Spelman, CAU and the other AUC institutions is expected by early this afternoon.
  • Emory University:  no word yet on plans for early closing
  • Woodward Academy:  the school remains open, but all after-school athletic activities have been canceled.
  • Westminster Schools:  Westminster is dismissing students early in a staggered sequence: juniors and seniors were dismissed at 11:45 a.m.; freshmen and sophomores will be dismissed at noon; middle school students will be dismissed at 12:30 p.m.; lower school students will be dismissed at 1:00 p.m. Tomorrow’s schedule TBA.
  • Lovett Schools:  Lower school was dismissed at noon; middle school will be dismissed at 12:15 p.m.; high school will be dismissed at 12:30 p.m.

Update 11:45 a.m.

  • Georgia Tech:  Georgia Tech will be closing at 1:30 p.m. this afternoon; closing tomorrow TBA.
  • Georgia State:  As of about 10 a.m., GSU was saying it plans to remain open today.
  • University of Georgia:  UGA says it plans to stay open unless conditions deteriorate.
  • Kennesaw State University:  KSU will be closing at 1 p.m. this afternoon; all housing and residence life functions will continue operating
  • Clayton State University:  Clayton State will close at noon today; closing tomorrow TBA.
  • City of Decatur:  Tonight’s State of the City address, has been canceled and will be rescheduled.

Update 10:45 a.m.

  • Fayette:  Fayette Co. Schools will dismiss students 30 minutes early this afternoon; all schools closed on Wednesday

Update 10:30 a.m.

Numerous school systems, offices, and other public facilities are closed or closing early throughout the metro Atlanta area today as a result of the weather.  In most cases, decisions about closings tomorrow are still pending.

School Systems

  • Atlanta Public Schools:  APS schools will be open today, but all after-school athletic events and community meetings are canceled
  • DeKalb County Schools:  all schools are open but all after-school activities are canceled
  • Cherokee:  school will be dismissed 2 hours early today
  • Clayton:  all schools closed today
  • Cobb:  schools will close 2 hours early today; all after-school activities canceled
  • Coweta:  schools closed, staff reports
  • Fulton:  schools are open but after-school activities are canceled
  • Henry:  schools closed, staff should report

Other Closings

  • Brookhaven City Hall:  closing at 1:00 p.m. this afternoon

We will continue to update these lists as information becomes available.

From the National Weather Service offices in Peachtree City, issued at about 5:00 a.m. this morning:

A winter storm warning has been issued for portions of Northern and all of Central Georgia, today into Wednesday. Snow accumulations of 1/2 to 3 inches are possible across the warning area. Highest snow totals are forecast across central Georgia. An ice storm is possible for portions of South Central Georgia with ice amounts up to 1/3 inch. Stay tuned to future forecast updates for further developments.