County and city road crews are ready to start treating roadways the moment the rain moves out and snow flurries move in.
"The latest forecast shows that happening between 3 and 4 p.m. this afternoon," said Dawson County Planning Director David McKee. "It could be an hour or two earlier or an hour or two later. Either way, we're ready."
Officials opted to err on the side of caution, making that call by 5 p.m. yesterday that county government offices would be closed today in anticipation of the weather system that is predicted to drop as much as 6-8 inches of snow and an half in of ice in the area. Higher elevations have the potential to see up to a foot of the powder.
The city of Dawsonville remained open Friday, though City Manager David Headley said he is closely monitoring the situation and keeping close observation on the changing weather patterns.
His road crews are also ready for the incoming storm.
Winter preparations have been made, snow plows are ready and salt for the city facilities, roads and parks is readily available.
"We are in contact with GDOT for our state road network and will be communicating with the county as need be," Headley said.
The county has three salt spreader trucks and a total of four snow plows crews will be operating throughout the winter weather event.
"Our first priority is our fire stations and access for our emergency services folks," McKee said.
Crews will then focus on heavily traveled connector roadways like Dawson Forest and Kelly Bridge roads.
"Our crews will be working around the clock and they will continue to keep the plows and the spreader trucks running until the event is complete," he said.
While local crews tackle city and county roads, Georgia DOT will begin applying brine and spreading salt and gravel materials on state roadways as soon as the rain moved out.
"Our biggest concern is the small window of time that we have to get ahead of the snow and ice that is forecasted," said Georgia DOT Commissioner Russell R. McMurry. "We will have our crews strategically placed in locations where they can quickly spread the materials on all the major interstates and state routes.
"But we must have the public's cooperation in this effort. We cannot spread the materials if we are stuck in traffic; and without the materials on the roadway before the snow hits, we lose a valuable tool in fighting the effects of this winter storm."
The latest forecast indicates a window between 3 and 6 p.m. in Metro Atlanta where the department will have trucks on the highways applying brine and spreading materials. It is essential that the public be off the roads at this time to enable GDOT in our efforts to successfully get this material on the roadway.
"As in all winter storms, we caution motorists to pay attention to our trucks spreading materials. Stay back a safe distance for your safety and for the safety of our crews working to clear the roadways," McMurry said.