Rain and falling temperatures combined overnight to create worrying conditions for residents of Atlanta, GA and much of the surrounding area. Over two thousand power outages have already been reported to the north of Atlanta early Wednesday.
With the worst yet to come, Georgia officials are deeply concerned. It's predicted that an ice storm is on the way, one that will bring layers of slippery ice that will result in even more power outages and dangerous driving conditions.
Both Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed in a joint news conference at the Georgia Emergency Management Agency's special operations center asked that citizens find a safe haven to weather the storm and avoid going out on the ice and snow-covered roads.
Said Reed, "The bottom line is that all of the information that we have right now suggests that we are facing an icing event that is very unusual for the metropolitan region and the state of Georgia."
As citizens are instructed to remain indoors, emergency workers are out in full force as Georgia intends to take both a proactive and reactive approach to the winter weather.
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) February 12, 2014
With the hope of keeping at least two interstate lanes available, the state has brought in tens of thousands of tons of salt, brine, gravel, and a sand-salt mixture. Over two hundred utility vehicles crowd the Atlanta Motor Speedway parking lot and hundreds of Georgia National Guard members have been placed on standby in case evacuations occur.
Despite the attempts to meet the ice storm head on, Transportation Commissioner Keith Golden said that the conditions were going prove to be a serious challenge.
"Ice is definitely different than snow. It is very difficult for us to plow ice."
Atlanta has been previously ill-prepared for serious winter weather to almost an embarrassing degree. This is a trend local officials hope to reverse going forward.
Image via Wikimedia Commons