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Winter storm warning issued for Gainesville and areas north
Ice, snow likely, National Weather Service warns
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A meeting is held at Gainesville City Emergency Services concerning a winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. The NWS model had Gainesville and surrounding areas with minimum temperatures near freezing. - photo by Austin Steele

Significant ice accumulation on trees and power lines is likely, along with as much as 3 inches of snow, as part of a winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service. 

Heavy mixed wintry precipitation was expected Saturday night, including snow, ice and possibly sleet.

The warning is in effect from 10 p.m. Dec. 8 to 1 a.m. Dec. 10 for the region north and east of a line from Blairsville to Dawsonville to Gainesville to Homer. More snow is expected in areas with elevation of 2,500 feet.

Hall County and counties to the northeast were inside the winter storm warning from late Saturday night into 1 a.m. Monday, Dec. 10. The projection for counties within the winter storm warning was snow/sleet up to 3 inches.

The NWS model had Gainesville and surrounding areas with minimum temperatures near freezing.

North of Gainesville and Dahlonega is where the NWS has the highest confidence of ice accumulation from Saturday to Sunday.

High winds and wet soil could also increase the chances for downed trees and/or power lines, according to the NWS.

Through 7 p.m. Monday, central and northeast Hall was considered under moderate storm severity, which translated to “perhaps a day or two of recovery time for snow and/or ice accumulation events.”

The southwest part of the county was listed as minor severity, which meant “minor disruptions” and “none to minimal recovery time.”

The weather service warns that power outages and tree damage are likely in the area under the warning. 

Georgia Department of Transportation district spokeswoman Katie Strickland said the department is using brine on Ga. 316, Interstate 85 and Ga. 400, and crews will begin 12-hour shifts at 7 p.m. Sunday.

“We are ready to respond if we see things worsen any sooner than Sunday evening,” Strickland wrote in an email.

Jackson EMC spokeswoman April Sorrow said the company has all 120 linemen on call as well as 100 contractors ready to go.

“Every night, we usually have 10 guys that are on call for that (Lumpkin and Hall counties) area. My assumption would be that we would have doubled that capacity,” Sorrow said.

Regional events