ATLANTA (AP) – Georgia officials are warning residents to take precautions against high winds and bitterly cold temperatures from an approaching winter storm.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said Wednesday that officials most fear power outages caused by wind, which could cut off heating to homes and some health care facilities. Officials warn wind could also delay reconnecting power.
“It may be very hard to get the crews to fix a downed power outage until it’s safe to do so,” Kemp said.
Officials said north Georgia mountains could see snow on Thursday and that rain farther south could freeze on roads. Temperatures are forecast to fall below freezing on Thursday and not rise above freezing until Monday in much of Georgia’s northern half.
“If you see a roadway that looks wet on Friday, assume that it’s frozen,” Georgia Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry said in a news conference Wednesday with Kemp.
Workers will begin salting and bringing 21,000 miles (34,000 kilometers) of state highways and interstates on Wednesday. Local roads may not be treated, though.
Kemp said he would declare a state of emergency, waiving daily limits on how long propane truck drivers can work. Propane heats both homes and chicken houses for Georgia’s nation-leading poultry industry.