State of emergency declared for coastal Georgia ahead of winter storm


Today: Frigid cold. High: 35

Tonight: Mostly cloudy. Low: 13

Tomorrow: Cold front expected. High: 39

» For a detailed forecast, visit The Atlanta Journal-Constitution weather page.

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Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency for 28 Georgia counties in the coastal region Tuesday ahead of a winter storm.

All Georgia Department of Transportation brine trucks and 75 additional plows are being sent to the impacted areas, Deal said. 

The state of emergency expires at midnight Friday. The area could get 1-3 inches of snow, Channel 2 Action News Chief meteorologist Glenn Burns said.

Winter storm potential affects the following counties: Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Brantley, Bryan, Bulloch, Camden, Candler, Coffee, Charlton, Chatham, Clinch, Echols, Effingham, Evans, Glynn, Jeff Davis, Lanier, Lowndes, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Pierce, Screven, Tattnall, Toombs, Ware and Wayne. 

Savannah State University, Savannah Technical College, Savannah College of Art and Design, city offices and Savannah-Chatham Public Schools are closed Wednesday. Many coastal area school systems are reporting two-hour delays. 

While the coastal areas are bracing for winter weather and it’s cold enough for snow in metro Atlanta, “we won’t have the moisture,” Channel 2 meteorologist Brad Nitz said.

Temperatures in the metro Atlanta area finally rose above freezing Tuesday, according to Channel 2.

Currently, it’s 29 degrees in Atlanta, which is up from a morning low of 13.

Dominique Patterson waits on Peachtree Street for a bus early Tuesday. The Coca-Cola sign says it all: 13 degrees in Atlanta. (JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM) (JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM)

It was so cold earlier Tuesday that warming stations opened to accommodate those seeking refuge from the bitter cold, which is gripping much of the United States. About 60 people showed up at the Central Recreation Center on Merritts Avenue in northeast Atlanta, acccording to Channel 2. The shelter also provided food.

Temps will be in the mid-20s again overnight, Burns said.

It’s dangerourly cold, especially for homeless people.

“I’m grabbing people off the street I know are homeless,” said George Chidi, the social impact director for Central Atlanta Progress. “You can’t sleep outside tonight, or you will die.”

MORE: Cold temperatures in metro Atlanta dangerous for homeless residents 

We won’t feel much warmer temps in Atlanta or other parts of North Georgia this week.

“Today's high temperatures are where our lows should be this time of year,” Nitz said. “The average low for the first week of January is 34 degrees.”

Wednesday morning is forecast to start out at about 21 degrees and it won’t get above 39, Channel 2 reported. 

Though no rain is expected, temps will continue to fall under a partly cloudy sky. The metro area won’t feel weather in the 40-degree range until Sunday.

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