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GDOT Confident In Winter-Weather Performance, But Hopes It ‘Lets Up’

The South awoke on Wednesday to a two-part Arctic mess. First came a thin blanket of snow and ice, and then came the below-zero wind chills and record-breaking low temperatures in New Orleans and other cities.
The South awoke on Wednesday to a two-part Arctic mess. First came a thin blanket of snow and ice, and then came the below-zero wind chills and record-breaking low temperatures in New Orleans and other cities.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

Georgia Department of Transportation officials said they are pleased with how they have handled the winter weather so far.

But, the department is a little worried about what’s ahead for the rest of the winter.

Georgia has had to deal with four winter storms in the past six weeks. Multiple inches of snow fell across metro-Atlanta in early December.

Then a few days into the new year, the same happened in Savannah and other coastal cities. Not a week after that, the northern corner of the state had freezing rain to deal with.

Now, the current ice and snow crews are still dealing with.

Scott Higley, with GDOT, said this many storms in such a short span is unusual for Georgia.

“Let’s hope that the frequency of these winter storm events lets up for every reason,” Higley said. “I think it’s taken a toll on the citizens of Georgia as well. I know everyone’s tired of this.”

Higley said GDOT’s evaluating right now to make sure it has enough supplies, mainly salt, to make it through the rest of the winter.

“We’re equipped budget wise and every other way to deal with it,” he said. “But we are kind of in an evaluation place where we need to see where we’re at to make sure we get through the rest of the season.”

He said crews worked 12-hour shifts Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Close to 300 employees are on call during the winter in the Atlanta area alone. GDOT crews were responsible for clearing close to 13,000 miles of road affected by the storm.

Governor Deal declared a state of emergency for more than half of the state’s counties because of the most recent storm. State and city offices and many schools remained closed Thursday because of lingering ice on the roads.