Gov. Nathan Deal said Sunday the state is “prepared” for a blast of wintry weather that has forced officials to shutter schools across metro Atlanta and close government offices in much of north Georgia.
The governor ordered non-essential state offices from Columbus to Augusta and northward to be closed on Monday, and city of Atlanta officials announced a similar order for local offices.
The shutdown comes as the state ramps up preparations for the College Football National Championship game between Georgia and Alabama on Monday night. Traffic was already expected to be gridlocked across metro Atlanta ahead of the game, which President Donald Trump is set to attend.
Deal said state transportation workers have brined highways and key intersections and bridges for days to prepare for the icy weather, and that he’s confident it won’t hamper preparations for the Monday night game.
“I don’t think it’s going to affect them,” he said. “We are prepared for that, and our preparations are ongoing. “
Deal’s order does not extend to the state Capitol, which will remain open on Monday so the Legislature can gavel in the 2018 legislation session as required by the state Constitution.
Deal’s administration has embraced a better-safe-than-sorry approach to wintry weather since snowfall in 2014 paralyzed the region and made Atlanta the butt of national jokes.