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DOT ready for icy roads

Melting snow could freeze overnight, making driving dangerous

POSTED: March 1, 2009 10:03 p.m.
Georgia Department of Transportation crews stayed busy Sunday with clearing roads, but some of their busiest work - making them safer for this morning's commuters - likely took place overnight.

Sunday's snowstorm covered roads throughout Georgia, particularly hammering areas in Clarke, Jackson and Oconee counties.

Areas east of Hall County received as much as 5 inches of snow Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. DOT sent extra crews to those harder-hit areas, where trees began falling, bringing about another threat - power outages.

"The snow has become so heavy, it has accumulated so much that trees are falling and power lines are falling," said Teri Pope, DOT spokeswoman. "Interstate 85 has had a very hard night."

In some locations, the snow was so heavy that plows couldn't clear roads fast enough, Pope said.

"It's beautiful," Pope said of the snowfall, at times pouring down in heavy flakes, "but it can be dangerous."

DOT crews worked much of Northeast Georgia clearing roads and putting down salt and gravel, but their first priority was interstates and major state routes, Pope said. Interstate 85 between Chateau Elan and Banks Crossing near Commerce was hard hit, she said.

Hall County was struck by plenty of snow, but roads were basically clear through the day. And counties north of Hall were largely spared in the storm.

Still, the DOT was monitoring road conditions overnight. There was concern that freezing temperatures could turn water into ice, although wind is expected to help clear roads.

"We could have a major icing situation in the morning," Pope said Sunday night. "We want to caution folks to check conditions before you head outside."




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