During hazardous winter weather conditions, Georgia DOT advises motorists to:
Call 511 to report icy conditions on interstates and state routes;
If possible, postpone travel until daylight hours when road conditions such as black ice are more visible;
Do not pass a Georgia DOT dump truck spreading the salt/gravel mixture, as gravel may kick up and could break car windshields - follow at least 100 feet behind Department vehicles;
Be aware of Georgia DOT crews working to clear snow and ice from interstates and state routes;
SLOW DOWN at least half your normal speed and use a low gear as you drive;
Treat a non-working traffic signal as a four-way stop; and
Beware of black ice (especially on bridges) and watch for fallen trees or power lines
As Georgia DOT forces begin laying materials and clearing roadways in north Georgia, Metro Atlanta roadway crews are preparing for the window of opportunity after the rain moves out to begin applying brine and spreading salt and gravel materials on the roadway.
The multi-layered winter storm forecasted to move into the metro area this afternoon is expected to dump sleet and snow with strong wind gusts later this afternoon.
As a result, Georgia DOT will immediately begin spreading materials as soon as rain moves out of the area.
"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.
Northeast Georgia road crews are scouting, treating isolated icy spots and plowing roadways in Union, Towns, Rabun, Lumpkin and Habersham counties.
Northwest Georgia crews began monitoring conditions overnight and begin 12-hour shifts this morning.
Metro Atlanta crews will begin 12-hour shifts at noon today.
Gov. Nathan Deal has issued a state of emergency for 21 counties ending Sunday at midnight and has ordered state offices closed at noon today.