Coweta road conditions still dangerous
by Sarah Fay Campbell
Road conditions continue to be dangerous in Coweta County early Wednesday afternoon, and officials are urging people to not travel unless absolutely necessary.
Coweta County and Newnan crews worked through the night Tuesday treating roads and were continuing to do so on Wednesday.
“Road conditions are just bad, period,” Coweta Emergency Management Director Jay Jones said at noon on Wednesday. Hills are particularly problematic. “If there’s any type of incline, more than likely you are going to have issues trying to get up that hill,” he said.
Though crews were working all day and people were out driving, Jones said the weather wasn’t expected to provide a lot of help. “We’re barely going to get above freezing temperatures,” he said. “If the sun doesn't come out more and melt something… even if it does, we’re still looking at bad conditions.”
“We’re trying to make a little headway today. I don’t think we’re going to be able to make enough to make a huge difference,” said Associate County Administrator Eddie Whitlock Wednesday.
Anything left on the roads come Wednesday night will re-freeze. There will likely be nearly invisible black ice Thursday morning. And morning conditions will “probably be more treacherous than they were” on Tuesday and Wednesday, Whitlock said.
In the Newnan city limits, crews had done all they could do. Now, “it’s just a matter of letting it naturally melt,” said Mayor Keith Brady Wednesday afternoon. Public works crews will report Thursday as needed, he said.
Coweta County government, the Coweta County School System, and Coweta County Superior Court have all that they will be closed on Thursday, as will city of Newnan offices.
Coweta County officially shut down its emergency operations center at 11 p.m. Tuesday, Jones said. However, extra 911 dispatchers stayed overnight to help handle heavy call volumes.
Coweta public works crews were concentrating road work on the northern side of the county, Jones said.
“The roads are still very, very treacherous out there,” Jones said. There were a lot of problems on the north side.
It’s not that the roads were necessarily the worst on the northern end of the county, Jones said. But “the population is more concentrated on the north and eastern sides. We have more roadways and more issues with vehicles on those roads versus other parts.”
County crews were concentrating on primary county routes. “It will be a while before any secondary roads are going to be touched,” Jones said.
“It’s probably going to be Friday sometime, or even into the weekend, before some roads get cleaned out," he said.
Newnan crews were working on any roads in the city limits. County crews were working county roads and staying off state routes, saying they are the response of the Georgia Department of Transportation.
“We’ve reached out to DOT to see what their time frame is on treating any of our state highways,” Jones said. But they hadn’t gotten a firm commitment.
“We’re not able to treat state routes” because crews are too busy working on county roads, said Coweta Communications Director Tom Corker.
As of around noon, Interstate 85 and the on- and off-ramps were passable, Jones said. “They’re all bad, but it is passable. Just like a lot of roads in the county. You’re going to have parts of it that may give more trouble than others."