The Atlanta-Fulton County Emergency Management Agency urges residents to prepare for possible hazardous driving conditions and to exercise caution when driving.
The National Weather Service has indicated that temperatures in the Atlanta metropolitan area will drop below freezing as or after precipitation falls, ice may form on exposed surfaces, creating dangerous conditions. During the conditions, citizens should take extra precautions. “Black ice” occurs when water on roadways, especially bridges and overpasses, freezes. Motorists may not see the transparent thin layer before driving onto it. Residents should also be aware of trees and power lines that can be weighted down by ice.
To prepare for this weather, Fulton County Department of Facilities and Transportation is monitoring the forecast, making sure all equipment has been fueled and pre-trip equipment inspections are completed and priority roads have been identified.
Employees are on stand-by and have been mobilized to address surface treatments for libraries, senior centers and downtown facilities in the morning. Grounds staff will interact with Building Maintenance to provide the necessary coverage. They have also been notified of the possibility of working overtime.
An inventory of sand, rock dust, and calcium chloride are stockpiled at the Stonewall Operations Center for use. The County has 950 tons of sand and 33,000 pounds of Calcium Chloride. Sand spreaders are on standby along with 4 wheel drive pickups.
Over the next 24 hours residents can expect to see fallen trees, rain and snow, cold temperatures and overnight icing.
Saturated soils from the last 4 days of rain coupled with 15-20mph sustained winds are aiding to an increase in fallen trees. Rain and snow are expected specifically from 4 p.m. to midnight tonight. Expect widespread rain turning to a mix or snow in the evening hours. Temps will be in the mid-30s for this evening with an overnight low in the high 20’s expected from 3 a.m. to 8 a.m. Friday morning.
Black Ice potential will increase after 1a.m. when this moisture moves out of our area and temperatures begin to plummet.
In preparation for this weather, residents should remember that black ice is almost invisible and to never brake while driving on ice. Also, the distance needed to stop on ice is twice as long as under normal driving circumstances. Keep at least a three-car distance from the vehicle directly in front of you.
Residents must also be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and tunnels and in the early morning when the air temperature is rising faster than the pavement temperature.