5:10 p.m. update: The Georgia Department of Transportation has made progress on addressing a slew of road problems in the wake of Hurricane Michael, but plenty of work remains to be done.
As of late afternoon, GDOT had inspected and reopened all bridges on state highways and removed debris from many roads. But the department still faced nearly 90 road closures caused by downed trees and other debris. And 189 traffic signals remained down across the Peach State.
GDOT says it may be several days before all roads are reopened in southern Georgia.
3.22 p.m. update: Downed trees and other debris continue to hamper traffic across Georgia as workers clean up after Hurricane Michael.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is still addressing about 100 incidents in which debris has closed highways across the state, according to spokeswoman Natalie Dale. Some new closures are being reported even as others are cleared.
GDOT says it may be several days before all highways in southern Georgia are open.
All interstate highways are open, and GDOT has inspected most of the 69 bridges on its to-do list. All bridges on state highways are open.
Nearly 200 traffic signals remain out of order on state highways, mostly in southwest Georgia.
The agency has urged motorists to stay off the roads in areas hit hard by the storm and says motorists should not clear debris themselves.
1:40 p.m. update: The Georgia Department of Transportation has reopened the Talmadge Bridge over the Savannah River in Chatham County.
11:50 a.m. update: State workers are inspecting dozens of bridges across Georgia in the wake of Hurricane Michael.
The Georgia Department of Transportation says it has inspected six state bridges in storm-ravaged areas and plans to inspect another 59. But only one bridge – the Talmadge Bridge over the Savannah River in Chatham County – is closed at this time.
GDOT workers continue to clear scores of roads across the state. The agency has urged motorists to stay off the road in storm-damaged areas, and to refrain from clearing debris themselves.
State highways across southern and central Georgia remain closed, and it could be several days before some reopen.
9:33 a.m. update: Scores of Georgia roads are impassable as state and local workers scramble to clean up after Hurricane Michael.
Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Natalie Dale said there are at least 127 incidents where state routes are blocked because of downed trees or debris. Though interstate highways are clear, she said it could be several days before all state routes in southern Georgia are open.
GDOT is using aerial reconnaissance to spot blocked roads in the affected counties.
The agency is urging motorists to stay off the roads in affected areas.
9 a.m. update: Hurricane Michael has moved out of Georgia, but the storm has left plenty of traffic hassles in its wake.
The Georgia Department of Transportation says it has lost contact with 260 traffic signals on highways across the state, which likely means they are not working. Spokeswoman Natalie Dale said most of those signals are in areas hardest hit by the storm – southern and central Georgia.
Just a reminder: If you encounter a dark traffic signal, treat it as a four-way stop. If you encounter a flashing red signal, treat it like a stop sign. If you encounter a flashing yellow signal, proceed with caution.
Original post: State workers are clearing roads and assessing the damage done by Hurricane Michael as the storm continues to pummel parts of Georgia.
Parts of northbound I-75 were closed – sometimes for hours – in Houston and Dooly counties overnight because of downed trees and other debris, according to Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Natalie Dale. The highway has been cleared and is open.
GDOT crews, the Georgia State Patrol and other agencies are scouting highways, Dale said. Some counties have begun clearing roads as the weather breaks in their area.
Dale said the agency “strongly encourage those in the affected areas to stay off the roads while crews are assessing damage and clearing roads.” She said motorists should not try to clear the debris themselves.
“Our crews are Trying to get as much done as they can without daylight,” Dale said. “Daylight will really allow us to get to work.”
Hurricane Michael is still moving through Georgia and has left a trail of destruction in its wake.