Atlanta snow: power outages, downed trees, icy conditions reported

Ice and snow hit metro Atlanta Friday night. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

Ice and snow hit metro Atlanta Friday night. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM


Today: Wintry mix likely. High: 37

Tonight: Snow and sleet likely. Low: 33

Tomorrow: Snow likely. High: 31

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

12:49 a.m.: An uprooted tree fell on a house on St. Charles Avenue while a child was trapped inside, Atlanta fire spokesman Sgt. Cortez Stafford said. The child was rescued and no injuries were reported. Stafford said crews were extinguishing a house fire on Diana Drive in southwest Atlanta, but had not yet determined the cause. Power lines were reported down near the home.

12:39 a.m.: Four inches of snow reported in Dahlonega, according to Channel 2. 

12:29 a.m.: Light snow reported in Marietta near Dobbins Air Force Base, according to Channel 2 Action News.

11:50 p.m.: More than 4,700 customers without power, according to Georgia Power.  Fifty-two outages are reported.

11:47 p.m.: 

Not seeing any snow yet? Could be due to freezing rain and sleet, according to the National Weather Service.

11:38 p.m.:  Douglas County officials report ice on trees and branches near breaking. Salt, sand, and stone mixtures are being applied in severe areas. 

11:13 p.m.: There are 21 outages affecting more than 1,300 customers, according to Georgia Power. 

10:45 p.m.: More freezing rain turned to ice on the highways, creating problems in Fulton County.

10 p.m.: Snowfall started to slow, which means more ice and dangerous conditions.

9:45 p.m.: Georgia Power offers tips for those affected by an electric service outage:

  • Disconnect or turn off appliances you were using when the power went off. Leave one light on to tell you when service is restored.
  • Avoid opening refrigerators or freezers. Food will stay frozen in a fully loaded freezer for 36 to 48 hours if the door is closed. In a half-full freezer, food will keep 24 hours.
  • Non-electric, unvented space heaters can be a hazard. Use them only in well-ventilated areas.
  • If you use an electric generator, plug appliances directly into it. Never plug a generator directly into your home's electrical wiring.

Follow @GeorgiaPower on Twitter for storm tips, outage updates, customer service and more.

9:30 p.m.: An Atlanta Streetcar is not working because of accumulated ice on power lines in the area of Peachtree and Forsyth streets, Atlanta police spokesman Lukasz Sajdak said.

“The Streetcar has been brought in due to ice,” Streetcar spokeswoman Christina Cruz-Benton said.

ice on power lines stalls Atlanta Streetcar. Video by John Spink/AJC

9:15 p.m.: Brine trucks were treating roads in Cherokee and other counties.

DeKalb County public works plows and spreader trucks head to their deployment areas on Friday in anticipation of snow and icy conditions expected to hit later in the day. Forecasts have some metro areas getting up to 5 -inches of snow overnight. KENT D. JOHNSON/ KDJOHNSON@AJC.COM

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8:45 p.m.: Channel 2 Action News chief meteorologist Glenn Burns predicts 4 inches of snow in parts of North Georgia.

Marietta police warn of bridges and portions of I-75 freezing. "Several crashes on I-75 have already been reported blocking portions of the roadway," the department said.

8:38 p.m. Road surfaces were freezing.

8:30 p.m. Snow started accumulating in North Georgia and in metro areas including Woodstock, Roswell and Acworth.

8:04 p.m. Snow and sleet reported in northeast Cobb County.

7:12 p.m.: Dawson, Hall and Forsyth counties started seeing snow.

UPDATE 6:40 p.m.: Sleet and freezing started in Cartersville, Canton and Woodstock in Bartow and Cherokee counties. In north Fulton County, city officials in Milton are urging people to stay home as crews pre-treat roads.

ORIGINAL STORY: Temperatures in metro Atlanta slipped into freezing about 6 p.m., making way for sleet and freezing rain to turn to snow.

A winter storm warning officially began at 4 p.m. as a wintry mix started to fall over metro Atlanta. The advisory ends at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Some parts of Cobb, Cherokee, north Fulton and Forsyth counties could get more than 5 inches of snow Saturday, Channel 2 Action News meteorologists say.

Gov. Nathan Deal issued an executive order that allowed non-essential state employees to leave the office at noon. He wanted everyone home and off the roads by 4 p.m.

He also issued a state of emergency that covers 79 Georgia counties, including all of metro Atlanta.

Channel 2 meteorologist Brad Nitz said the sleet and freezing rain seen through the late afternoon and early evening is expected to turn to snow by 9 p.m.

Nick McClure cleans his windshield Friday night after leaving Masseria restaurant in Blue Ridge. CRAIG SCHNEIDER / CSCHNEIDER@AJC.COM

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That snow is expected to start accumulating about 11 p.m.

Temperatures started falling shortly after noon as the cold air moved in. Sleet was reported in Cobb, north Fulton, Cherokee, Paulding, Bartow and Floyd counties about 1:30 p.m. as road temperatures dropped on I-75 at Ga. 92 near Acworth from 43 degrees to 38 degrees.

Temperatures shortly after 8 p.m. were 32 degrees in Atlanta, 29 in Calhoun and 39 in Eatonton.

The Georgia Emergency Management Agency warned residents Thursday to prepare to stay at home for at least three days.

“With winter weather on the way,” the agency said, “now is the time to prepare.”

The Georgia Department of Transportation started mobilizing its fleet of brine trucks Thursday night in metro Atlanta. Brine is a salt and water solution used to prevent ice from forming. GDOT crews, some sent to metro Atlanta from counties in South Georgia, continued prep work Friday.

Meteorologist Brad Nitz tracks the winter storms's timing.

The Georgia Electric Membership Cooperatives, which represents the state’s 41 EMCs, mobilized employees and contract crews and prepared trucks with extra utility poles, wire, connectors, transformers and other emergency and power equipment, spokeswoman Terri Statham said Friday.

“Electric co-ops ... have a variety of contingency plans in place to address problems associated with ice and snow forming on power lines, possibly causing damage and service disruptions,” Statham said.

Many organizations decided to close through the weekend.

MORE: Snow Mountain closed Saturday ... because of snow

The National Weather Service uses specific winter weather terms to ensure that people know what to expect in the coming days and hours. (Erica A. Hernandez/AJC)

By about 7 a.m. Saturday, the snow will have moved out of the metro area, according to Channel 2. However, cold air is expected to move in behind the snow, meteorologist Karen Minton said.

“Sunday is just bitter cold,” she said.

Temps will drop into the teens.

— Staff writer Greg Bluestein contributed to this report.