As snow approaches, road preps already underway in Gwinnett

Meterologist Karen Minton has your Friday afternoon weather forecast.

Significant winter weather likely won't arrive in Gwinnett until sometime Friday night — but county officials won't be caught unprepared.

Local Department of Transportation workers began spreading brine on bridges, overpasses and other known trouble spots around 9 p.m. Thursday and will continue to do so into Friday afternoon, county spokesman Joe Sorenson said. If and when snow or ice begin to accumulate, they’ll start spreading sand and salt.

Plows will start running “very very early” Saturday morning if needed, Sorenson said.

County officials held a press briefing Thursday, urging residents to stay home but vowing they were prepared for the storm that could dump as much as four inches of snow on Gwinnett.

The county has about 1,000 gallons of brine on hand, and salt and sand at five locations throughout the county. Staffing-wise, Gwinnett DOT director Alan Chapman said his agency plans to have 50 road maintenance employees on hand, with as many as 20 more available to assist with tree clearing. About 18 technicians would be available to address traffic signal outages.

Multiple on-call crews for road maintenance, traffic operations and traffic signals will also be prepared to respond, officials said. The county has six plows and six more “motor graders” that can be used as plows.

As of Friday morning, little of the plan appeared to have changed.

Gwinnett County police spokeswoman Cpl. Michele Pihera said her department had a weather briefing at 8 a.m. Friday and would have another at 4 p.m. As of Friday morning, no significant changes had been made to the police department’s plan, which includes having special operations officers — like accident investigators and DUI task force members — on hand to assist patrol officers.

“We are working closely with DOT to get them road issues as the officers see them,” Pihera said.

Gwinnett County Public Schools and local colleges announced plans to close early Friday, as did the county's library system.

Sorenson said around 10:45 a.m., however, that no plans had been made for government offices to do so. The county’s emergency operations center will officially open early Friday evening, he said.

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