Officials: Stay Off Roads

Crews treating roads, but conditions remain dangerous

by Sarah Fay Campbell

When it comes to driving around on the snowy roads — “only go out if it is an extreme emergency,” said Georgia Department of Transportation Spokeswoman Kimberly Larson.

“Any motorists who have to be out there: drive slow and be on the lookout for black ice as temperatures continue to drop.”

Larson also wants to remind motorists what while anti-lock brakes, traction control and four-wheel drive can make driving on snow and ice easier, “they don’t take the place of good driving habits or reducing speed on snowy or icy roads.”

“We want to encourage everyone to stay off the roads,” said Coweta Emergency Management Director Jay Jones.

By 4 p.m., roughly 2.5 inches had fallen on the Newnan area, with slightly higher amounts reported in the Palmetto area.

A portion of Sewell Road, from Spence Avenue to Armory Road, was closed because of dangerous conditions.

A serious crash in Senoia left one person critically injured, and there were reports of a tractor-trailer jackknifed on Sprayberry Road and a pizza delivery car striking a utility pole. A hill in the Avery Park subdivision was nearly impassable by 3 p.m.

There were reports of multiple cars stuck on the side of Lower Fayetteville Road.

GDOT crews have been busy treating interstates in Coweta, but haven’t gotten to other state highways yet, said Larson. Crews have been very busy in Troup County.

“Our priority is always the interstates first and then multilane state routes, and then two-lane state routes,” Larson said. GDOT road treatment crews got started at 8 this morning. The second shift will come on at 8 tonight.

Things are a little more efficient this year than in years past, now that GDOT is able to use its “salt barns.” These metal huts in strategic locations on the interstate are used to store salt and sand, so that crews don’t have to drive as far to reload sand trucks. The huts were erected after the 2011 ice storms, but this is the first time they’ve been used.

City of Newnan and Coweta County crews have been busy treating streets with salt and gravel mixtures. Coweta County crews are treating county roads with salt and gravel spreaders that were purchased following the ice storm of 2010. City of Newnan crews are treating all hazardous conditions in the city limits.

Crews will likely work through the night.

You can check interstate conditions by visiting www.511ga.org .



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