Thomasville Times Enterprise

January 29, 2014

DEEP FREEZE

Patti Dozier
CNHI

THOMASVILLE — It had been thought Mother Nature would take her freezing temperatures and precipitation elsewhere Wednesday, but she decided to extend her visit another day.

The temperature, which barely got above freezing Wednesday then dipped again, is expected to dip into the 20s Wednesday night, with the chill factor in the teens.

Thomasville City, Thomas County and Grady County school systems and Brookwood School willl reopen Thursday. City officials continued to monitor weather conditions Wednesday.

Situations for icy conditions and power outages increase with prolonged low temperatures, a city official said.

Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) and Thomas County crews responded Wednesday morning to ice on bridges in north Thomas County.

The Thomas County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) reported ice in the following locations early Wednesday morning:

• U.S. 19 North

• Highway 111

• Highway 111 at the bridge

• Bee Line Road bridge east of Ga. 202

• Barnetts Creek bridge

Ice was on roads throughout north Thomas County, EMA reported.

“Everything on the ground, there’s the possibility of it freezing,” Chris Jones, EMA director, explained.

Jones said citizens should have family disaster kits stocked for circumstances with and without electrical power.

Sleet — but no snow — was reported in Thomas County Wednesday.

A National Weather Service spokesman said snow fell in the area Wednesday, but it melted before it reached the ground and was manifested as sleet and freezing rain.

The spokesman addressed local officials via a conference call Wednesday afternoon at the Emergency Operations Center.

On Wednesday afternoon, no Thomas County roads or state routes in the county had been closed.

 It is not anticipated that any roads will close, Capt. Steven Jones, Thomas County Sheriff's Office public information officer, said mid-day Wednesday.

The temperature was not as high as expected during the day Wednesday and lower than anticipated Wednesday night.

 "Things that were frozen will refreeze,” Chris Jones warned.

 Sgt. First Class Tommy Peeples, Thomasville Post 12 Georgia State Patrol commander, said one weather-related wreck — at 6 a.m. Wednesday in Colquitt County — has occurred in the post’s coverage area.

 “The best advice is to stay off the roads if possible,” Peeples said.

 Motorists should ensure tires are not slick in icy road conditions.

 “Be careful on bridges,” Peeples said. “Bridges are icing.”

 The trooper said to slow down on a bridge when icing is possible. Steer straight, do not brake or accelerate.

 “Coast across the bridge if possible. The biggest thing is to slow down. That’s the main thing,” Peeples explained.

 Motorists should travel five to 20 miles below the posted speed limit in dangerous road conditions.

 Two Post 12 troopers departed Thomasville early Wednesday to assist in the weather-related traffic problem in Atlanta.



 Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.