Governor Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency for all of Georgia on Wednesday Arctic blast Temperatures are expected to drop into the single digits by Friday.
“Communities across the state are about to see temperatures they haven’t experienced in a decade or more,” the governor said during a press conference at the state Capitol.
Cold temperatures are likely to be accompanied by strong winds that could lead to power outages.
James Stallings, director of the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, said the outages could last several days. With the cold blast affecting other states, Georgia utilities will be restoring power on their own, he said.
“We can’t bring in a lot of people from the outside,” Stallings said.
Georgia Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry said crews are already treating roads in northwest Georgia with brine in anticipation of precipitation Thursday night into Friday morning, followed by frost that could cause black ice. Brine operations in metro Atlanta and northeast Georgia will begin Thursday morning.
Salting will begin on Thursday on highways, bridges and overpasses north of the line between Columbus and Augusta and along Interstate 75 from Macon north to the Tennessee line, McMurry said.
“It’s an all-hands effort in this large geographic area that we’re dealing with,” he said.
McMurry advised motorists to stay off the roads Thursday and Friday morning to make way for emergency crews.
Kemp’s order repeals federal regulations that limit the hours commercial truck drivers can operate their vehicles to ensure adequate supplies of heating fuel.
The state of emergency will remain in effect until midnight Monday.
This story is made available through an information partnership with Capitol Beat News Servicea project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.