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Skies clear but many area roads remain icy
DOT urges motorists to wait until afternoon to venture out
Snow is removed from a parking deck Thursday morning at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville.

The winter precipitation has moved out, but many roadways are still covered in ice and snow.

The Georgia Department of Transportation urged residents to stay off roads until at least mid-afternoon when temperatures are predicted to rise above freezing. Sunny skies also are expected to help with melting.

Secondary and subdivision streets are "still a problem," said Capt. Scott Cagle, spokesman for Hall County Fire Services.

The temptation may be to venture out check the roads, but "I've been telling people to give us one more day," he said.

Emergency responders have had a "low-call volume" through this week's storm because people have been staying at home and off the roads, Cagle said.

He cautioned residents to also be careful as they go outside and play, as people can fall on ice or hurt themselves sledding.

And road conditions may be worse Friday morning, especially if the sun and wind doesn't dry out pavement, Cagle said.

Electric outages were kept to a minimum during the storm, though, and Jackson Electric Membership Corp. is releasing the contractors it brought it to help restore power. They will move to other parts of the state that were harder hit.

At 11 a.m., Georgia Power crews were working outages in Mount Airy and Cleveland, affecting 167 people.

Don Carter State Park off North Browning Bridge Road in North Hall is now gearing up for normal business as a recreation area.

It had served as a “staging area” for first-responders from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Georgia Forestry Commission, said Matt Owens, the park’s assistant manager.

“We are actively going into the weekend mode,” he said. “We are starting to get calls about the campground, so … we’re quickly returning to normal.”

The Northeast Georgia Health System still isn't completely open. All of its Northeast Georgia Physicians Group clinics are closed. Urgent Care centers in Gainesville and Dawsonville are open until 8 p.m., with hours to be determined at Urgent Care centers in Braselton and Buford.

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