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Hard freeze settles in until Friday across Northeast Ga.
Morning low hit 10 degrees in Gainesville, 4 in Blairsville
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Frank Bozek, of City Glass Athens, loads plywood sheets with a crew in Thursday's frigid weather at the Gym of '36, now the headquarters and offices for Gainesville-based Homestar Financial Corp. The crew is cleaning up the site after installing new windows in the structure.

Temperatures climbed out of the teens across Northeast Georgia on Thursday afternoon, but they won't make it above freezing for another day or so.

The early morning low in Gainesville was 10 degrees, recorded by the National Weather Service station at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport. The wind chill was 1 above zero just after sunrise.

Blairsville posted the lowest of the region's frigid lows at 4 degrees.

Wind chills dropped near zero in most areas before sunrise as the Arctic cold settled in throughout much of the nation.

Temperatures Thursday struggled to reach 30 degrees, with overnight lows dropping back down around 20 in most areas. Friday will begin a slow warming trend with the mercury climbing back into the upper 30s.

The weekend looks cold with a chance of light rain by Sunday.

Statewide, temperatures fell to 10 degrees before dawn in Marietta, Cartersville and Rome and 12 in Atlanta.

It was even colder in the north Georgia mountains. A U.S. Forest Service weather station recorded an air temperature of 0 degrees shortly after 5 a.m. Thursday at Brasstown Bald, Georgia's highest peak.

School districts delayed start times, including in White and Habersham counties, and warming shelters were open across the state.

In downtown Decatur, just east of Atlanta, deliveryman Travis Daniel was carting food into a Subway restaurant. While the cold was biting outside, it was still warmer than the zero-degree cooler on his truck. Still, Daniel said he would not trade his outdoor job for indoor work.

"Out here, I'm unsupervised," said Daniel, 45. "I'd go crazy" working indoors.

A few blocks away, city employee Tony Parker, 50, was emptying a parking meter near the downtown square. He was wearing three shirts, two pairs of pants, two pairs of socks, gloves, hand warmers and a heavy coat to ward off the cold during his eight-hour shift.

A wind chill advisory Thursday morning included all of northern and central Georgia and parts of south Georgia, including Vidalia, Americus and Statesboro.

The wind chill — the combination of air temperature and wind — was 4 degrees below zero before dawn Thursday in the northwest Georgia town of Calhoun.

Regional events