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Area may get 2 inches of snow by end of week

POSTED: January 3, 2010 11:30 p.m.

Make sure to bundle up youngsters heading back to school this week.

It’s going to be bone-chilling cold for several days in the Hall County area, with up to 2 inches of snow possible for Thursday and Friday, according to the National Weather Service in Atlanta.

"It’s a big high-pressure system over the Great Lakes and it’s moving that cold air down on top of us," said Mike Leary of the weather service.

The best place for a snow show may be hard to nail down. Projected temperatures and chances for snow vary across North Georgia.

"Sometimes, it all depends on how the moisture is going to come in," Leary said. "Where the moisture is coming from and where it’s going to get to. This (system) is coming in from the south of (Gainesville), not from the northwest, like you would expect."

Area residents should expect plenty of freezing and not much thawing into next week, with a frozen ground increasing the chances for snow to stick.

The high temperature through Sunday is supposed to be 40, reached on Wednesday, and lows will linger in the teens. The projected low Saturday night is 13.

Dressing warmly is the key, as area residents start returning to work and school this week. Students in the Gainesville school system resume classes today and Hall County students, Tuesday.

Homeowners also need to use caution when warming their homes, as Hall County firefighters observed this weekend.

Firefighters responded to two chimney fires this weekend that didn’t result in structural damage.

"In each of these cases, the fire was contained to the chimney and firefighters were able to assist the homeowners in removing the wood from the fireplace and ... making sure the chimney was safe," Chief David Kimbrell said.

A homeowner on the 2800 block of Shady Lane wasn’t as lucky.

Flames were licking the 2,000-square-foot house when Hall firefighters arrived, with the fire reaching into the attic. The estimated damage was $20,000, Kimbrell said.

"When it gets real cold, people do whatever to stay warm and these chimney fires seem to pick up this time of year," he said.

Kimbrell recommends homeowners have their chimneys checked annually.

A chimney fire starts when residue deposits in the flue are ignited, causing such tremendous heat that the flue liner is cracked.

"And then the next time you have (the combustion) is when (the fire) actually gets out into the house," Kimbrell said.

Firefighters also see space heaters causing a lot of fires, with "people placing them too close to combustible items," the chief said.

"For whatever reason, they’re choosing to use that method of heat (over) a central heating system."



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