The effects of Sunday’s snowfall were still being felt today in Jackson County, as thousands of residents were still without power.
Utility companies are working to restore power to thousands of Northeast Georgians, but in some isolated cases, it may be Tuesday before the lights come back on.
After working throughout the night, Jackson Electric Membership Corp. crews were able to reduce the number of those without power in their entire service area from 24,000 down to around 16,900 customers by 10:45 a.m. However, that number increased to 19,376 Monday afternoon as work crews began to scout additional problems throughout the service area.
Some 8,600 in the Jefferson district alone were without power as of 3:30 p.m.
According to Jackson EMC officials, the snowfall was to blame for two downed power lines in Jackson County and another 20 power lines in adjacent Madison County.
The Jackson County, Jefferson City and Commerce City School systems were all closed on today, as was the Jackson County government.
Only Lakeview Academy in Gainesville was closed today, the other city schools were open like usual; schools in the Hall County district opened an hour later than normal.
Georgia Power has 28,000 homes without power, nearly all of them in the hard-hit Athens area, said spokeswoman Carol Boatright.
Hall County's roads are in good shape this morning, but the roads to the south may still be suffering, said Rick Parham with the state department of transportation's office of communications.
Clarke, Oconee, Barrow and Elbert counties' roads were affected the most by Sunday's snow, he said. The DOT brought in reinforcements from northwest Georgia to help make the roads driveable again in those counties.
"Those areas got hit the hardest and took most of our resources," Parham said.
The snow also brought problems for Jackson County's roads. Interstate 85 had vehicles backed up for 20 miles, because of icy conditions, Parham said.
Crews for both power utilities continue to work to clear their outages as quickly as possible. But Jones said some Jackson EMC customers may be without power until noon Tuesday.
The hardest hit areas are Jackson, Clarke and Oconee counties, where officials said the power loss was caused by snow weighing down limbs and knocking them onto power lines.
Jackson EMC has brought it crews from Gwinnett and Hall counties, Douglasville and Cumming to help restore power.
Staff writers Ashley Fielding, Jeff Gill, Brandee A. Thomas, executive editor Mitch Clarke and the Associated Press contributed to this report.