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County gets more snow than anticipated
Snow 2017
Knox Honea, 4, shows off his snowman, built during the height of a snowstorm in Dawsonville on Friday. -Photo by Hayley Hicks for the Dawson County News

School was cancelled, plays were postponed and businesses shut up shop early Friday as an unexpected amount of snow fell on Dawson County.

Thursday evening reports from the National Weather Service predicted up to one inch of accumulation overnight on Friday, but instead between four and 10 inches greeted residents Saturday morning.

A Winter Weather Advisory went into effect for portions of north and central Georgia beginning at 5 a.m. Friday through 7 a.m. Saturday, and then was extended an extra three hours.

Though beautiful, the snow posed an inconvenience for many as the threat of black ice loomed.
Dawson County Schools were closed Friday and county and city government offices closed early that afternoon. Monday saw a two-hour delay for students as well.

Gingerbread decorating workshops at the library were cancelled and rescheduled for this weekend, and “Shrek the Musical,” which was set to be performed at the Performing Arts Center Friday and Saturday, was rescheduled.
Power outages were numerous: according to the NWS, at the height of the snow storm over 200,000 customers in north Georgia were in the dark and more than 1,500 residents in Dawson County were without power over the weekend.

The most treacherous result of the storm was the roads, as many smaller roads were rendered impassable due to snow and ice.

According to Kristen Cloud, executive assistant to the county manager, emergency services responded to 25 calls for service on Friday and Saturday, which Cloud said “was not a large increase from normal demand.”

Several calls were for downed power lines, falls and motor vehicle crashes. No serious injuries were reported.

Public Works had full staff working Friday until 6 p.m. and half crew from 6 p.m. Friday to 1 a.m. Saturday, Cloud said. A new crew worked from 1 a.m. to 9 a.m., when the first crew returned and worked until noon.

Crews pre-treated bridges and fire stations with salt and gravel, and did not utilize ice melting material on the roadways until early Monday morning, Cloud said.

“Total labor hours dedicated to the storm event cleanup was approximately 360 hours, with a total of 15 public works employees working during the peak of the event,” Cloud said.

Once the worst of the storm was over, residents got outside and enjoyed the unusual weather.

Snow 2017 2
Hope Honea and her son Knox sled down a hill Friday near Howser Mill Road. -Photo by Hayley Hicks for the Dawson County News.

The fresh layer of powder that accumulated overnight Friday made for perfect sledding, snow angel and snowman material.

Knox Honea, 4, decided he wanted a snowman that looked just like Olaf from the movie “Frozen.”

His aunt and other relatives, including his mother’s cousin Hayley Hicks, decided they had to oblige.

“He actually requested to build a snowman that looked like Olaf, and that was as good as we could get it,” she said about a photo where Honea posed next to his snowman near Howser Mill Road in Dawsonville. “It looked like Olaf to him, so he approved.”

As of press time Tuesday, some snow still lingered in the shade around downtown Dawsonville.