In Savannah, snow melts but some ice remains

The towering live oak trees in Savannah’s Forsyth Park glittered with ice. And some streets in city’s famed historic district were converted into sledding runs.

But the rare snowfall that blanketed Savannah and the surrounding area along Georgia’s coast began to melt on Thursday, as the chilled region slowly shrugged off the remnants of the arctic blast that had arrived the day before. Despite Thursday’s bright, sunny conditions, most of the coastal city’s residents stayed put because the temperature didn’t reach above zero degrees long enough to tackle ice on the area’s roads and bridges.

“It’s expected to freeze again overnight,” Abigail Murphy, Chatham County spokeswoman said Thursday. She predicted the icy road conditions will keep people at home.

No fatalities were reported as a result of the storm and there were no widespread power outages reported by Georgia Power. Between one and four inches coated Georgia’s coast and the surrounding areas with the highest accumulation reported in rural areas inland, like Effingham and Bulloch counties.

Road crews from city, state and county officials worked to thaw ice and snow by covering the roads with salt, sand and brine. Yet, a significant portion of I-95 North, the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport and dozens of major roads, bridges and highways remained closed until a status report on Friday.

Chatham Emergency Management Agency officials say that the winter advisory won’t be lifted until mid morning Friday. Public schools will be cancelled for the rest of the week. City and Chatham County offices will open at noon Friday

The city of Savannah officials tweeted advisory notices on social media asking the public to stay home. But officials held a city council meeting and it conducted regular agenda items, including a hearing on affordable housing.

Jill Nielsen, the Savannah police spokeswoman, said that the department handled many motor vehicle accidents but none of them were reported as major injuries.

Other people had slip and fall accidents and they were treated at local hospitals.